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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Le million(1931) d. Rene Clair

Le million (1931) d. Rene Clair

Movie Review
Le million(1931)
d. Rene Clair
Criterion Collection #72

  Rene Clair is best known for his other Criterion Collection featured film, A nous la liberte- a movie that Charlie Chaplin ripped off for his classic, Modern Times. A nous la liberte ALSO came out in 1931.  Made at the beginning of the "talky" era, Clair stretched the capabilities of sound in a film in ways that still come across as fresh and inventive today.

 Le million is about a guy who wins the lottery but can't find the jacket that has the lottery ticket inside. His girlfriend, lends it to a hobo, and he sells to it an opera singer who wears it during his performance and HI JINKS ENSUE.  FRENCH HI JINKS FROM THE 1930s.

 It occurs to me while watching older movies that there are tips and tricks that would make shooting a movie today on a limited budget earlier.  For example, setting up the camera and then have the actor move a long distance within the frame- that's easy enough to do, and seems to be a technique that filmmakers with limited budget/technology and big artistic vision cope with the limitations imposed by budget.

  You could just shoot it silently and do the sound separately.  The past has tons of ideas like this to plunder.


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