Le Vampire (1945)

The Vampire is a pseudodocumentary, in fact, it's largely fantastical in elements. This film has stuff that speaks sub textually about Nazi Germany and the like. It certainly covers a lot of the different types of horrors in the world and it's quite original, too. The Vampire it is full of rhythm and precision.
The bats are being macro analyzed and they are personifying human emotion. After a brief overview of the general weirdness of the animal kingdom, Jean Painlevé talks as some sea creature creeps along the floor of the ocean like something out of a German expressionist film.



Then The Vampire gets a little into Murnau's classic Nosferatu, which eventually leads to a discussion about what vampire bats are like, illustrated with a live guinea pig. Duke Ellington's music scores it to bring us back to the sort of New Orleans voodoo tradition of vampires.
And thus what should be a documentary about parasites and bloodsuckers, becomes a subtle critique of the Nazi party.
Painlevé's exploration of a twilight realm of bats is very poetic. The approach is quite interesting along with being somewhat self-conscious aware. Painlevé preoccupies himself with juxtaposing things to create quite odd effects. The film is full of lush imagery and imagination.
Painlevé sees in the shapes and behaviour of the creatures he is observing, his own especial analogies and associations: the terrors of human fantasy are
set beside the terrors of creation.
You can buy Avant Garde - Experimental Cinema of the 1920s & 1930s.

1 comment:

plastikkpoet said...

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