In the 1920s, avant-garde cinema was seeking new ways of telling stories in images, at the same time centring on the exploration of movement and light. By bringing together films from these two tendencies, we can relate them in formal terms, by highlighting the process of abstraction running through the analogies between the musical and the cinematographic arts, and organizing the programme cyclically, like the fugue that Émile Malespine refers to with his Jeux arborescents and its “music of new images”. This centres our attention on the abstract dimension of narrative cinema and the narrative or allegorical dimension acquired by an interplay of abstract forms.
Lumière et ombre*, Alfred Sandy, 1928, 4 min; Balançoires*, Noël Renard, 1928, 30 min, Essais cinématographiques*, A. Sandy, 1928, 2 min; Fait-divers, Claude Autant-Lara, 1923, 20 min; Prétexte*, A. Sandy, 1928, 5 min; Jeux d'ombres*, Émile Malespine, 1928, 5 min; Jeux arborescents*, E. Malespine, 1928, 4 min. [Screening in DCP. Copies courtesy of the Cinémathèque française and CNC.]
*These films have been restored by La Cinémathèque française