Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Max et son âne - 1912

Country: France
Language: French
Directors: Max Linder, René Leprince
Writers: Max Linder, Louis Z. Rollini
Stars: Max Linder, Paulette Lorsy and Joé Dawson
Also Known As: Der eifersüchtige Esel Austria / Germany
Joe Teaches Max a Lesson UK
L'âne jaloux France (alternative title)
Max and the Donkey UK
Production Co: S.C.A.G.L.
Max Linder strays further from his usual haunts of situational comedy, far into straight slapstick as he gets into a dispute over the woman he is courting with a pantomime donkey -- although whether the donkey wants the girl or Max i something I can not quite make out.
In any case, Max and the Donkey go on the set slapstick chase of the French and Italian cinema, including crawling down the side of a building. It is here that we get a touch of Max' character: while Max just leaps, the donkey stops and thinks it over on the rooftop before finally heading down the building, an effect which s achieved by putting a painting of a wall on the floor and shooting each of them crawling backwards in turn.
While straight slapstick chase is not Max' usual meat, he manages to pull it off with enough charm to make this worthwhile.

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