La belle dame sans merci

  • 86'
  • France
  • 1920
In film archives spectacular finds are still made. That is demonstrated by the discovery in the Netherlands Film Museum of this early great by Germaine Dulac, the film-maker who became famous as a proponent of avant-garde film. Her La Belle Dame sans merci was found in the archives as a Dutch version entitled De Wraak eener Vrouw and thanks to support from the European Lumière Project has been restored to its original French lustre. La Belle Dame sans merci is a meticulously-made melodrama from the period when Dulac made her famous La Souriante Madame Beudet. The film provides an ironic and sometimes even sarcastic look at life in the French haute bourgeoisie just after World War One. The story is taken from the novel by Irène Hillel-Erlanger. A famous actress who in the past was seduced and left by a rich man, takes her revenge on men and becomes 'a merciless woman'. Commissioned by the Netherlands Film Museum, Frank Mol and Maud Nelissen developed a musical concept for the accompaniment of this silent film. Dulac, who originally had a musical training, had outspoken ideas about music. To match her taste, a selection has been made from the classical-romantic music of e.g. Debussy. The music will be performed by Willem Korteling (baritone), Maud Nelissen (piano) and Wynanda Zeevaarder (soprano). Artistic supervision and conducting of the music section is by Frank Mol.
Director
Germaine Dulac
Premiere
World premiere
Country of production
France
Production Year
1920
Festival Edition
IFFR 1996
Length
86'
Medium
35mm
Sales
EYE Film Institute Netherlands
Screenplay
Germaine Dulac