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Rediscover Jacques Feyder: French Film Master (1921-1925)

Cast: Jeanne Cheirel, Rachel Devirys, Stacia Napierkowska, more...
Director: Jacques Feyder, Jacques Feyder
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Homevision
Genre: Science Fiction , Classic Sci-Fi, Silent, Fantasy, Drama, Foreign, France, Silent Drama
Languages: English
    see additional details...

Crainquebille (1923)
Based on a story by Anatole France, the silent Crainquebille was updated and directed by Jacques Feyder. Heavily influenced by the then-popular school of German symbolism, the film nonetheless bears traces of the French realism that would dominate the Gallic cinema of the 1930s. This 6-reeler stars child actor Jean Forest, whom Feyder would utilize to even better effect in his follow-up films Visage d'Enfants and Gribiche. The film, an essentially adult effort, is told from Forest's point of view, solidifying Feyder's expertise at directing children. Released in France in 1922, Crainquebille made the international rounds the following year. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Faces of Children (1925)
In 1988, the Belgian Film Archive released a restored print of the 1925 film Visages d'enfants by the renowned Belgian director Jacques Feyder (1885-1948), who had a considerable influence on European filmmaking. His films were noteworthy for their introduction of the style of "poetic realism," which eventually became a cinematic movement. This films concerns Jean Amsler (Jean Forest), a young lad whose mother has recently died. When his father Pierre (Victor Vina) marries Jeanne Dutois ($achel Devirys), a woman with a child of her own, he feels betrayed, and not only rejects his stepmother but torments her daughter Arlette (Arlette Peyran). Eventually, he puts the little girl in mortal peril. Overwhelmed with remorse for the evil of his actions even though the girl was saved, he throws himself into a river but is saved by his now-vigilant stepmother. As he regains consciousness in her arms, at long last he calls her "mamma." ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

Queen of Atlantis (1921)
Although this was French filmmaker Jacques Feyder's first truly important film, you wouldn't guess it by reading the trade papers of the day. Because of the storyline -- a fantasy tale adapted from the novel by Pierre Benoit -it was considered a novelty. In addition, Film Daily went out of its way to remark on the unattractiveness of star Stacia Napierkowska -- her zaftig figure was too hefty for American tastes. The film opens with a discussion between two French officers about the disappearance of Captain Morhange (Jean Angelo). It is suspected that Lieutenant Saint-Avit (Georges Melchior) knows more than he has let on, and finally he tells what happened. While traveling through the desert, Saint-Avit and Morhange were lured to the submerged Atlantis. The ruler, Queen Antinea (Napierkowska), marries men and casts them off until they die of love. She then turns them into gold and places them in the hall of red marble. Saint-Avit fell prey to the Queen's charms and married her. Morhange, however, had taken a vow of celibacy so he resisted her. This infuriated the Queen so she influenced Saint-Avit to kill Morhange. Although Saint-Avit has escaped from Atlantis, he plans to go back, and after telling his tale, he friend decides to go with him. ~ Janiss Garza, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Crainquebille (1923)
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5.50 (2 votes)
Faces of Children (1925)
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7.60 (5 votes)
Queen of Atlantis (1921)
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4.33 (3 votes)

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