France: Cine France, 1927. Original French program for the 1927 film, with a flyer for the world premiere at the Palais Garnier in Paris laid in.
One of the late masterpieces of the silent era, following Napoleon’s early life through his appointment as Commander in Chief of the Army and invasion of Italy, one of six films director Abel Gance planned about the life of the French statesmen, and the only one he completed. The film is notable for the many innovative and experimental techniques Gance used, uncommon in the silent era, including location shooting, fast cutting, close up, hand held, and point of view shots, multiple camera set ups, in-camera movement, and visual effects such as superimposition, film tinting, and split screen or mosaic shots. Most famously, the film helped pioneer truly widescreen viewing, as Gance created a technique, later referred as Polyvision, which required three projectors to run film shot from three different cameras simultaneously to achieve a 4:1 aspect ratio for the film’s climatic battle sequence (although seams between the screens would remain visible). After only showing at a handful of theatres, the film, which originally ran over four hours, was severely cut when it was acquired by MGM, with only the middle section of the triptych being retained, the other two sections remaining mostly unseen until the film was fully restored in the early 1980s.
10 x 13 inches (25 x 33 cm), bound with a string binding. Owner blindstamp to the title page. Wrappers Very Good, with a few short closed tears and light chipping, now encapsulated in mylar. Interior pages bright and about Fine, with light soil.
A remarkably clean example of a rare surviving piece from the earliest days of French cinema, and one of the world’s most important epics.
Godard, Histoires du cinema.