Reality vs. Imagination

La fée des grèves
R: Louis Feuillade. P: Société des Etablissements L. Gaumont. Fr 1909
Engl. titles
Print: Gaumont

“The Prince represents reality and the fairy represents the imagination. As the Prince captures the fairy and marries her, it appears that reality is harnessing and taking control of the imagination. Yet as the imagination has a violent reaction against reality and realises that it cannot exist on this plain so must return to her river of imagination, reality secedes its attempt to control the imagination and enters the world of the imagination. It is on this plain that the two are able to happily coexist; the allegory serves as an excellent lesson for any artist, and may also function as Feuillade’s mission statement for what will be an extremely successful decade for him.”
Film: Ab Initio

La Tare
R: Louis Feuillade. D: Jean Aymé, Renée Carl, Henri Collen. P: Société des Etablissements L. Gaumont. Fr 1911

La Tare is a 41 minute tragedy focused on Anna Moulin, an unhappy waitress in a brasserie in the Latin Quarter. In the opening scene, a distinguished doctor drops in for a cocktail. Anna tells her tale of sorrows and the doctor gives her a chance to change her life — ‘quit right now and come with me.’ She does and goes to work for him as a nurse in a hospital for poor and orphaned girls. She selflessly commits her life to her patients, and, upon the doctor’s death, becomes the director of the hospital.
Even though the film is a tale of redemption, Anna never experiences any joy. We see her grimly enjoy the satisfaction of hard work and accomplishment but we never see her smile. Somehow this makes her downfall even more tragic.”
Silent Beauties