Works, By Date: 1910-1919 (194)

Total: 335 works

Max Takes A Bath (Max prend un bain)

Max does a nervous twitch so effectively, it is almost contagious. When doctor prescribes hot baths, Max buys a tub which, hilariously, leads to a wall-scaling chase, as first seen in the 1906 "The ? Motorist", adding to the the wonderful absurdity of it all.

Max In Search Of A Sweetheart (Max Cherche une Fiancee)

Max gets into trouble when he sends two girls the same poem. This idea is revisited in a wacky way in the 1917 "Max The Heartbreaker".

A Shy Youth (Les timidités de Rigadin)

A shy young man is sent to court a young lady, but ends up being allured by a servant pretending to be the absent young lady. Humorously highlighting class differences via a spirited and domineering woman that breaks down the reserve of a bourgeois man, this provides the basic framework of the screwball comedy (sans happy ending). Mistinguett steals the show, exuding the kind of earthy charm and humor that gave her fame.

How Greediness Spoilt Foolshead's Christmas (Come fu che l'ingordigia rovinò il Natale a Cretinetti)

Capturing the true spirit of the celebration - greed - Cretinetti destroys Christmas, taking out Santa, angels, and saints in a Méliès-style fantasy of riotous excess.

Max Is Stuck Up (Max Ne Se Mariera Pas)

Max has an important dinner date, but things get a bit sticky. In other comedies, the fly paper gag felt more frustrating than funny. But the humor here lies in Max's attempts to hide his difficulties, which just compounds the problem - a core trait of Max.

The Musketeers of Pig Alley

Rival gangs exchange mean mugs and bullets, leading to an enigmatic ending. Free of the more aggressively manipulative Griffith conventions (e.g., damsel in distress, race to rescue), instead focusing on atmosphere and character (Elmer Booth's wonderful portrayal), makes this seem less dated than other Griffith works.

The Water-Funker (La peur de l'eau)

Max's romance is derailed by a challenge to his fear of water. Only two comic moments: this first one at 9 minutes. The final comic moment (at 13 minutes) is Max in his best manic form. It's even more impressive because it is preceded by a chillingly grim portrayal of broken-hearted depression: like a cinematic display of manic-depression.

Dr Brian Pellie and the Secret Dispatch

This is the final 2 minutes of the 10-minute video described at http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/1114609/synopsis.html. It features a reenactment of the 1909 Tottenham chase, that began with a robbery by anarchists, set in a fictional tale of spies.

Les Vampires: Episode 6 – Hypnotic Eyes

Moreno, having already robbed the rival Vampire gang of "a fabulous fortune", seeks to continue milking this cash cow of professional losers. So when he learns his rivals are suspects in yet another murder with no stated payoff, he takes off hot on their trail - after giving his maid the goo-goo eyes, in case he needs a female weapon to fight Irma Vep or Mom. Meanwhile, The Man (alias Count Kerlor, alias Baron de Mortesalgues, alias The Grand Vampire, alias, Mr. Treps, alias The Great Seducer, alias the Count de Noirmoutier, alias Dr. Nox) continues doing what he does best - concocting aliases and colossal flops - while also spinning a seemingly pointless yarn (that provides one of the film's two films-within-film), as Irma Vep starts cross-dressing to prepare for her dominatrix role in sissy training for The Man. Will The Man manage to resist the urge to publicly French-kiss his "son"? Catch the next episode and see...

The Aryan/La fiera domada

The title raised the excited hope of going beyond the usual stereotyping and slurs, instead delivering an explicit exposition of racial ideology - taking Birth Of A Nation out west. Unfortunately, this is just a reconstruction of a film previously considered lost. The original may have been more directly concerned with racial ideology, but here Cowboy's main conflict is with women: Cowboy's massively Madonna–whore complexed. This is immediately suggested in the very first scene, where Cowboy's sacred love for his distant mother is juxtaposed with images of him petting and kissing his bestial companion. Then after he deludes himself that a sleazy mining camp on the border is his ideal “town inhabited by men of iron heart”, and that his mother would love a girl he met in a bar there, he is of course vamped. But instead of dumping her, he takes her as his partner he loves to hate as he does a No-More-Mister-Nice-Guy. Finally, he meets The Virgin Mary Jane and he again falls to his delusions as she cons him into believing his White Man's Duty is to give away his riches. He leaves behind his whore to return to his Brotherhood and replay the Heroic Defender role that first got him vamped, before riding off in the sunset to seek his next imagined Madonna to transform into an imagined whore. So goes the life of an iron-hearted Aryan.

Les Vampires: Episode 7 – Satanas

Once Moreno discovers Irma Vep's cross-dressing, he starts fantasizing how he could doll her up to indulge his fetish for girls that look like boys trying to look like girls...and he's hooked. Meanwhile Irma Vep, yearning for earnings and sick of The Man's aliases filling up their business cards, has been scoping Moreno's dapper duds that remind her of John Steed and thinking they'd look even better on her, so she pretends to fall for his goo-goo-eyes trick so she can snatch his threads. But just as happily-ever-after seems on the horizon, the title character steps in and reminds everybody that the slaughter, famine, and disease of the First World War rages around them. Will that stop Irma Vep from stepping out of her Emma Peel and stepping into Moreno's pants? Catch the next episode and see...

The Curse of Quon Gwon

Featuring rich costumes and the conflict between tradition and modernism (a theme that, 10-20 years later, would become a staple of the Shanghai film industry), it's a pity so little remains of this.