Scotland

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 31 December

 Napoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP,  332 mins) Gance’s epic biopic of Napoleon traces his career from his schooldays (where a snowball fight is staged like a military campaign), his flight from Corsica, through the French Revolution (where a real storm is intercut with a political storm) and the Terror, culminating in his triumphant invasion of Italy in 1797.  The film ends here because it was intended to be part one of six, but Gance was unable to raise the money to make further episodes. The film’s legendary reputation is due to the astonishing range of techniques that Gance uses to tell his story ( including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, hand-held camera shots, location shooting, point of view shots, multiple camera set-ups, multiple exposure, superimposition and under water shots) culminating in the final twenty-minute triptych sequence, which alternates widescreen panoramas with complex multiple- image montages.  This is the most complete version of the film available, compiled by Academy Award-winning film-maker, archivist and historian Kevin Brownlow who napoleon-panoramaspent over 50 years tracking down surviving prints from archives around the world since he first saw a 9.5mm version as a schoolboy in 1954.  Find out more at  BFI and  Wikipedia  With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment.   Filmhouse, Edinburgh   Link


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