We're enjoying Rene Clair again, this time with his 1931 musical A Nous la Liberte. Like Le Million and, as we'll see next week, Under the Roofs of Paris, (and like Fritz Lang's M) Clair's early sound films are experimentation with the medium, playing with sound and silence, dialogue and ambient noise. It's a fascinating window into the mind of a creative person suddenly presented with new possibilities. It's also a brilliantly good film.
In this week's episode we watch a French musical comedy and discuss the metaphorical value of Pat's underwear. Le Million (1931) is director Rene Clair's second sound film, a medium he at first regarded as "an unnatural creation" apparently believing that sound would do nothing but diminish the quality of story telling on the big screen, an opinion that I can not imagine anyone actually having ever.
Fritz Lang's M (1931) is the German directors first film with sound and star Peter Lorre's first film and first villainous role. Technology and star are both put to excellent use. M is also a film that the Nazi's tried to suppress before they were even in power. I can't think of a more glowing recommendation, but I will say that has always been one of my favorite films since I first saw it many, many years ago.