Friday, August 5, 2011

36. Napoleon


I will start off saying what I am supposed to say and then move on to what I actually feel.

I am supposed to say that the technical brilliance of the film was breathtaking.  I am supposed to say that it is a shame that this silent movie was only four hours long and it should have gone on for four more hours (which the original apparently did).  I am also supposed to say that although the characters had no depth and it is basically propaganda, it doesn't matter because it is such a beautiful biopic.

Shit, I am glad that is out of the way.  Did not feel right.

This movie sucks.  I don't care if you are the best director that was ever fucking born.  It is a four hour long silent biography. I am reminded forcibly of Oktober.  I am getting major deja vu by saying that if I learned something it would be worth it.  However, this is a load of propaganda and boring at that.  I watched it while I was cleaning out my closet.  When I find untangling necklaces more fascinating than a movie, we have a problem.

Now, everyone claims that it is beautifully shot.  That is pretty hard to appreciate whenever you cannot pay attention.  A good movie has to have depth and interesting characters.  Cannot believe I paid $25 for this...

RATING: -----

Interesting Facts:

Abel Gance, the director, brought us La Roue. 

The restored version was released by Francis Ford Coppola.

No video, sorry.


  1. The only thing I remember from this one is: tap tap tap, when is this super boring thing over...

  2. I think he planned to make it ten or more hours but the film company pulled the funding or something like that so he bitterly had to give up and release the four hours he'd shot so far.

    I thought Greed was pretty good and I can imagine how its full eight hours would have worked if it had been broken up into episodes for example (modern TV boxsets are like 20hr movies which is fine, so it seems unfair to simply blame film makers of the 1920s who didn't have this option open to them). But this was just dull, dull, dull. The director was too in love/admiration for his subject to make an objectively good film.

  3. Regrettably I have to - mostly- agree.
    That said, I do think there were some brilliant moments, but dragged down by long, long dull stretches .. and heavy handed propaganda.

  4. Man I forgot how long these early movies were.