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La Roue

Posted by martinteller on May 18, 2008

There’s no doubting Gance’s genius.  This film clearly pushed the art of cinema forward, with innovative techniques and visual poetry.  POV shots, superimpositions, rapid cutting, expressive lighting.  It’s definitely a lyrical work of art, one that impressed me with its craftsmanship and its contribution to film history.  But the storyline of the film disappoints.  You’re asked to sympathize with characters who have rather unsympathetic desires.  I was kind of grossed out by it, and kept waiting for some indication that Gance felt the same way.  And unlike the epic, magnificent Napoleon, there isn’t enough meat in this simple melodrama to sustain one’s interest for nearly 4 1/2 hours.  Part 1 especially could have lost an hour or more with some judicious snips here and there.  Rating: 8

IMDb
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