André Sauvage, a poet, painter, adventurer and filmmaker who shared many of the Surrealists’s aims, is the author of various documentaries and fiction films, now practically forgotten, which in their time excited the admiration of Jean Renoir and Jean Vigo. In his best-known film, Sauvage presents a portrait of the Paris of the 1920s, district by district, seeking out its inhabitants by following the windings of its rivers, fields, streets and monuments. Like an explorer in the city, the filmmaker captured the poetry, everyday reality and the unknown, using a style that draws more on ethnography than avant-garde language. “Paris,” said Sauvage, “for mystery, for the unexpected, for humanity, for beauty, equals the North Pole or the Sahara.”
Études sur Paris, André Sauvage, France, 1928, 35 mm, silent, 90 min.