Emile Cohl encore

http://www.amazon.fr

A new book on the master French animator, Emile Cohl, is due to be published in France on 20 August. The publication of Emile Cohl: L’inventeur du dessin animé, written by Pierre-Courtet Cohl (the filmmaker’s grandson) and Bernard Génin, coincides with the centenary of Cohl’s best-known film, Fantasmagorie, generally held to be the first fully animated film. The book is both a biography and a comprehensive study of his films, but what is most exciting is that it will come with a two-disc DVD, produced by Gaumont-Pathé Archives, which is said to include almost all of his surviving films (around thirty-seven are thought to survive).

One cannot judge as yet whether the book will surpass the exceptional 1990 biography by Donald Crafton, which for the multi-lingually-challenged such as myself holds the inestimable advantage of being in English, but the DVDs will bring a great number of Cohl’s films out of the archives and into the public consciousness for the first time in nigh on a century (as an earlier post notes, very few Cohl films are currently publicly available). The book also has 600 illustrations, which should be more than an attraction in itself.

Book and DVDs are to be published by Omniscience, which has information on book, author and subject on its site (in French), but not on the DVD’s precise contents.

Update: See comments for more DVD information.

3 responses

  1. Wow. That link didn’t work for me; maybe this one will:
    http://www.heeza.fr/description.php?lang=1&path=23&sort=Article&page=0&id=1125

    Here are the details:

    The DVD is Emile Cohl: L’agitateur aux mille images. It’s a 2-DVD set of 43 (?) films made by Cohl for Gaumont 1908-1910, plus 14 films made for other studios. It has a running time of 5 hours 45mins. These are the titles featured:

    DVD 1
    Fantasmagorie (1908)
    L’Hotel du silence (1908)
    Le cauchemar du Fantoche (1908)
    Une drama chez le Fantoches (1908)
    Transfigurations (1909)
    Soyons Donc Sportifs (1909)
    Japon de Fantasie (1909)
    Les Joyeux Microbes (1909)
    Moderne ecole (1909)
    Cadres Fleuris (1910)
    Reves enfantins (1910)
    Le binetoscope (1910)
    En route (1910)
    Le songe du garcon de cafe (1910)

    DVD2
    Histoire de chapeaux (1910)
    Rien n’est impossible a l’homme (1910)
    Monsieur de crac (1910)
    Les chef-d’oeuvre de bebe (1910)
    La musicomanie (1910)

    That doesn’t add up to 43, so presumably these are just highlights (all of the illustrated with still images by the Heeza site). The extra films from other studios are:

    PATHÉ

    * Le retapeur de cervelles
    * Le musée des grotesques
    * Les fantaisies d’Agénor Maltracé
    * Jobard a tué sa belle-mère
    * Le cheveu délateur

    ECLIPSE

    * Les exploits de Feu Follet
    * Les métamorphoses comiques

    ECLAIR NEW YORK

    * Zozor ruine la réputation de sa famille
    * Bewitched Matches
    * He poses for his portrait

    ECLAIR

    * L’avenir dévoilé par les lignes de pied
    * Les exploits de Farfadet
    * Les aventures des Pieds-Nickelés 2, 3, 4 et 5
    * La maison de Fantoche

    There are also two documentaries among the extras: Emile Cohl Image par Image, and Hommage à Emile Cohl.

    Presumably this is the same set as accompanies the new book?

  2. The other films (featured on DVD1) are:

    Le Cerceau magique (1908)
    Le petit soldat qui devient Dieu (1908)
    Les Frères Boutdebois (1908)

    L’Eventail animé (1909)
    Clair de lune espagnol (1909)
    Les locataires d’à coté (1909)
    Les Couronnes (1909)
    Monsieur clown chez les lilleputiens (1909)
    Porcelaines tendres (1909)
    Les Chapeaux des belles dames (1909)
    Les Générations comiques (1909)
    Les Chaussures matrimoniales (1909)
    Les Lunettes féeriques (1909)
    Affaires de cœur (1909)

    Le Champion du jeu à la mode (1910)
    Le Mobilier fidèle (1910)
    Le Petit Chantecler (1910)
    Les Douze travaux d’Hercule (1910)
    Le Tout petit Faust (1910)
    Le peintre néo-impressioniste (1910)
    Les Quatre petits tailleurs (1910)
    L’Enfance de l’art (1910)
    Les Beaux-arts mystérieux (1910)
    Le Placier est tenace (1910)

    The DVD is presented as vol. 2 of the “Gaumont: Le cinéma premier” series (the first volume is a 7-DVD set featuring 94 films directed by Alice Guy, Louis Feuillade, and Léonce Perret between 1897-1913).

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