What a victory for all cinema enthusiasts to see the 1,500 seats in the city's auditorium filled with spectators who came to attend the screening of a silent film from ... 1927!
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Finally, it is perhaps only at the Lumière Festival in Lyon that we can witness this kind of cinephilic miracle.
While Thierry Frémaux, accompanied by Frédéric Bonnaud, director of the Cinémathèque Française, presented this exceptional film-concert session in concert, the musicians of the national orchestra of Lyon were finishing tuning their instruments.
by Alexandre Vokoff is one of the favorite films of the founder of the French Cinémathèque Henri Langlois
Frédéric Bonnaud first recalled during this gala evening that Alexandre Volkoff's “Casanova” was
“one of the favorite films of the founder of the French Cinémathèque Henri Langlois
” for a good and simple reason.
“When Langlois founded the Cinémathèque in 1936,” he
, “the company Albatros of white Russian Alexandre Volkoff, based in Montreuil, had already collapsed, with the transition from silent cinema to talking cinema.
And the Russians of Albatross were the first to give all their films to Langlois so that they did not disappear.
The national orchestra of Lyon plays the new score by Günter Buchwald on the silent film “Casanova” by Alexandre Volkoff (1927).
© Festival Lumière 2021
The film, which lasts 2:07, was first restored in 1986 by Jean Renoir's editor, Renée Lichtig.
She almost made it a "duty of filial memory" because her mother of Russian origin had one day danced with the actor playing Casanova, Ivan Mosjoukine (1889-1939).
The Casanova by Alexandre Volkoff, with Ivan Mosjoukine and Diana Karenne.
Light Festival © 2021
The version presented in 2021 in Lyon is special in that it benefits from a new restoration.
“We found even better copies,”
And in particular concerning the passage of the carnival of Venice tinted with stenciled colors.
A nod to the music of James Bond
But this film-concert session would not have been unforgettable if the conductor Günter Buchwald had not composed new music especially for the occasion.
Performed live by the national orchestra of Lyon, it gives all the tempo to this film.
Fast-paced, funny, the Casanova played by Ivan Mosjoukine spends his life running, fleeing or seducing women, between Venice, Austria and Saint Petersburg.
What health !
At times, he recalls
and we understand why: Volkoff was his assistant and Gance's film was released the same year as this
The original poster of "Casanova" by Alexandre Volkoff.
Light Festival © 2021
The film prefigures in many ways
with Donald Sutherland.
But over the course of the screening, the new score imagined by Buchwald has fun with the viewer by paying tribute twice to Vivaldi, and even allowing himself a little nod to the music of the James Bond, when Casanova jumps up and down. 'a diligence in full race.
The audience applauded heartily at the end of the evening ... Finally nothing but very logical to weave parallels between James Bond and Casanova: both embody the alpha and the Omega of seduction in the collective imagination.