prog: 1903

Pre-Code Hollywood

Cedric Gibbons, 1934, US, 35mm, ov, 86

The film couple Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan was the key to the success of "Tarzan, the Ape Man". It was therefore decided to exploit the exotic-erotic potential of this relationship. The lovers are scarcely dressed, they burn with passion and are not afraid of the bad guys of Babel. A series of sensual games are alternated by attacks of dangerous wild animals. Fortunately, there is the virile Tarzan to save Jane! The most daring scene of the movie is a naked water ballet. Although that scene was replaced by a more covered version, depending on the State in which the screening took place (no less than three versions were recorded in order to anticipate censorship!), this caused a true tornado and accelerated the implementation of the Code. Only the nude was censored - the treatment of coloured people was no problem. The film is a real gem as only Hollywood managed to come up with, and furthermore with a very inventive sound band (almost without music). After this libertine period, censorship got the upper hand and Jane became a housewife... in the heart of the jungle.

30.11 > 19:00 + 15.12 > 17:00
5€ / 3,5€

William A. Wellman, 1931, US, 35mm, ov st fr & nl, 80

The classic gangster movie "The Public Enemy" perfectly illustrates the character who "goes astray". Not because he is bad, but because he has no other choice.
James Cagney personifies this gangster hero. Opportunist Tom Powers knows success, money and women (Jean Harlow and Joan Blondell!).
Even though the movie is very gloomy, the difficulties that Powers-Cagney encounters are not sufficient enough to restore morality (usually the character gets to repent, falls in decline, is killed or commits suicide). Following the protests and for fear that the film would lead to a wave of crime, Wellman added later at the beginning and the end of the film an announcement in which he stated that he had not intended to glorify crime.
At its release the film was subject to many cuts according to the local legislation in different States. These practices were common, and complicated the work of the distributors enormously, not to mention the cost of the damaged copies. These economic and logistical problems contributed to the motivation of the film industry to centralise censorship.

01.12 > 16:00 + 19.12 > 22:00
5€ / 3,5€

Alfred E. Green, 1933, US, 35mm, ov st fr, 76

In the pre-Code period there is place for emancipated women. Some female characters fearlessly challenge taboos and put men in their place, to even use them, just like men do with women. By playing the game of men, they confirm their superiority over men, who are confused by strong women who experience their sexuality and their ambitions, and so on. Just as gangsters do for men, these women question society and kick against laws and authorities in order to obtain their place. Instead of brute force, they use their charms. These characters can be subtle and ambiguous, they have their own reasons and they are not necessarily represented in a bad light ... but this is of course "not done"!
In this film Barbara Stanwyck plays the character of Lily Powers (!). who gives up her gloomy life for New York. There she climbs on to the highest echelons of a company, according to the stairs that she ascends to seduce men, who she then dumps for their boss. The dubious moral of the story causes the refusal by some States. Also before 1934 the commercial pressures were present. Warner assembles the movie again: four minutes were removed and the open-minded discourse was played down. Only in 2005 an original copy was rediscovered. And this is, of course, the version we show, followed by a mini-analysis of the comparison between both versions.

06.12 > 20:00 + 22.12 > 21:00

Millard Webb, 1929, US, 35mm, ov, 96

The story of a young aspirant singer leads us to the world of Florenz Ziegfeld, the key figure of the Broadway musicals with his Ziegfeld Follies. Gloria leaves her great love for the sake of her career and then begins a romance with a manipulator who wants to get her between the sheets. In addition to the story we discover plenty of songs, but also and especially the Ziegfeld show from which the film borrowed its name and that we get to see in the last part. The stars of the moment play comical and musical scenes, there is nudity that goes far beyond suggestion (including Johnny Weissmuller who is even less dressed than as Tarzan) and even blasphemy, since this is the first film in which you would hear the word "damn" (which even ten years later in "Gone with the Wind" will be shocking).
Although the film is more innocent than others in this program, we get to see the female character who chases her dream and refuses to go through life as a housewife. In addition, we recommend you to discover this film in its rare full version, because some scenes in colour (Technicolor in a primitive version) were cut and thus not visible until the copy was restored.

14.12 > 19:00 + 22.12 > 17:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€

Lloyd Bacon & Busby Berkeley, 1933, US, 35mm, ov st fr & nl, 104

James Cagney plays a musical writer who must reinvent himself with the advent of sound film of which he hopes it is nothing more than a temporally hype... He gets the idea of prologues, these musical shows that open film screenings, based on the model of large chain stores in order to lower the cost and to show them in as many theatres as possible. His business runs like a train, but he must compete with another studio, and he makes the one show after another.
The story line is an excellent pretext to make a musical comedy about the movie and entertainment business. Especially when you know it’s the great Busby Berkeley who did the design and staging of the songs, with amazing results as always. He makes extremely evocative images and films the bodies of his dancers from every possible and impossible angle. The costumes are minimalist, the scenery magnificent. But it is also the excellent performance of the actors and the exciting intrigue that make the film so strong. On top of that, there is humour. He mocks occasionally with censorship and he dares allusions on adultery, prostitution, drugs and some other rudenesses, right Miss B... Rich ?

14.12 > 21:00 + 22.12 > 19:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€

if we put aside the sad history that made an end to the career of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, we are left with his filmography as an actor and director which almost ended up in oblivion but nonetheless remains important. Arbuckle introduced Buster Keaton, was a source of inspiration for Chaplin and made burlesque comedy extremely popular in the late 1910.

+ The Cook

Roscoe Arbuckle, 1918, US, video, silent, 18

Fatty is cook, Keaton waiter. Juggling with kitchenware, playing with spaghetti and wild chases are on the menu!

+ The Bell Boy

Roscoe Arbuckle, 1918, US, video, silent, 26

Two rivaling bell boys want to seduce a hotel guest. Lessons in cleaning and hair cutting, a pony lift and clumsy circumstances from top to bottom.

15.12 > 15:00
3,5€ / 2,5€

lang: en
id_rubrique: 1913
prog: 1903
pos: aval