Montmartre, around 1911

La peur des ombres
R: Unknown (Roméo Bosetti?). D: Léontine (?). P: Pathé frères. Fr 1911/12
Engl. subtitles

“In a playful, reflexive take on the familiar ‘last-minute rescue’ formula, a woman and her housekeeper left alone at home mis-read shadows projected from the street outside and fear a violent assault. Male police officers dispatched to rescue them correctly diagnose the situation, with hilarious results, including a late gender reveal.”

“With threats by the Camorra in all the newspapers, two women are terrified. When they see the shadow of a gun man threatening someone, they telephone the police. There are no credits known for this early suspense movie, and that’s a pity. That’s because it makes use of two bits of technique that were highly unusual in its day. First, it uses shadows to indicate the threat, and terrifying shadows they are too. Second, and perhaps more important, it shows the women calling the police and them responding in a triptych window: women on the left, police sergeant on the right, and officers bicycling in response in the middle. This was two years before Lois Weber made use of the same technique in Suspense.”
IMDb (boblipton)

Le Rembrandt de la rue Lepic
R: Jean Durand. D: Ernest Bourbon, Berthe Dagmar, Gaston Modot. P: Société des Etablissements L. Gaumont. Fr 1911
Engl. subtitles

“In Montmartre, a couple buys what they think is a real painting by Rembrandt. But in a typical fashion for Jean Durand and his troupe of acrobats, the film soon turns into a destructive chase of unbelievable proportions. Often called the ‘Pouittes’ (sic!), Durand’s troupe included circus performers and was featured in dozens of comedies shot in and around Paris between 1911 and 1914. In this film, a woman (played by a man in drag) ruins the couple’s painting, causing a chaotic chase scene down the stairs and in and out of a small apartment building, where they wreak havoc in their wake. At the end, the painting is revealed to be a forgery, troubling the cultural values attributed to high art, which combined with popular tropes (slapstick, gender burlesque) turns into another farcical joke.”

>>> Chaos and Destruction

>>> Jean Durand: Zigoto, 1912

Georges Monca

R: Georges Monca. D: Charles Prince, Gabrielle Lange, Georges Treville. P: Pathé frères. Fr. 1911

Rigadin et l’escalope de veau
R: Georges Monca. D: Charles Prince. P: Société des Etablissements L. Gaumont. Fr 1911

Plot synopsis
“The schnitzel has the reputation of reducing wrinkles. Mrs. Rigadin secretly applies this beauty recipe on her face every night and of course she does not throw away the food after this use. Rigadin was forced to eat schnitzel every day without knowing why. Not being able to bear this diet, he gets into a terrible rage and discovers his wife’s secret. She will either have to keep her wrinkles or eat schnitzel herself every day.”
Films by the Year

Georges Monca ( 23 October 1867 – 26 December 1939) was a French film director. He was extremely prolific, making nearly four hundred films during his career – mainly during the silent era. His shorts Rigadin Directeur de Cinéma and Rigadin et le Chien de la Baronne were preserved by the Academy Film Archive in 2010.

681-Georges Monca

>>> Rigadin on this website