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The Prince of Adventurers

Casanova

If irresistible charm is what you’re seeking, Casanova is the man for you.

Credits

Dir Alexandre Volkoff
Scr Aleaxandre Volkoff, Norbert Falk, Ivan Mosjoukine
With Ivan Mosjoukine, Diana Karenne, Suzanne Bianchetti
France
1926
159min

Ivan Mosjoukine stars as the world’s most notorious rake in this French super-production, with colour sequences beautifully restored by the Cinémathèque Française. What joyousness, what merrymaking, what lovemaking! We imagine Casanova perpetually kissing the hand of his latest innamorata, while half out the window and with a murderous husband leaping up the stairs. There have been some gorgeous Casanovas in recent years, but Ivan Mosjoukine was born to play this mischievous Harlequin with the melancholy heart. He was one of a group of Russian emigrés who fled to Paris in the 1920s – as was Alexandre Volkoff who, fresh from assisting on Abel Gance’s Napoléon, directed this sumptuous blockbuster, replete with stencil colour sequences bringing Venice’s 17th century carnivals to life. A thousand silk dresses (by Boris Bilinsky, designer of the famous Metropolis poster) dance in a rainbow of colours, while fireworks are reflected in the waters of the Grand Canal.

Bryony Dixon

Additional information

Casanova - Alexandre Volkoff – 1926 – Collections La Cinémathèque française’. HD digital scan of the original nitrate negative and 4K scan of vintage diacetate print (pochoir sequences) from our collections.

With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.


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