Abel Gance and the End of Silent Cinema

Sounding out Utopia

Authors: Cuff, Paul

  • First monograph dedicated to Abel Gance’s career during the transition to sound (and only the second monograph on Gance in the last 30 years)
  • Draws on extensive investigation of primary sources
  • Features previously unseen archival material
  • Offers critical reconstitution of La Fin du Monde, revealing for the first time its original design
  • Provides insight into Gance’s unrealized artistic and political projects during 1910s-30s
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eBook 76,99 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-38818-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 96,29 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-38817-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book explores the creation and destruction of Abel Gance’s most ambitious film project, and seeks to explain why his meteoric career was so nearly extinguished at the end of silent cinema. By 1929, Gance was France’s most famous director. Acclaimed for his technical innovation and visual imagination, he was also admonished for the excessive length and expense of his productions. Gance’s first sound film, La Fin du Monde (1930), was a critical and financial disaster so great that it nearly destroyed his career. But what went wrong? Gance claimed it was commercial sabotage whilst critics blamed the director’s inexperience with new technology. Neither excuse is satisfactory. Based on extensive archival research, this book re-investigates the cultural background and aesthetic consequences of Gance’s transition from silent filmmaking to sound cinema. La Fin du Monde is revealed to be only one element of an extraordinary cultural project to transform cinema into a universal religion and propagate its power through the League of Nations. From unfinished films to unrealized social revolutions, the reader is given a fascinating tour of Gance’s lost cinematic utopia.

About the authors

Paul Cuff is an Associate Fellow in the Department of Film and Television Studies, University of Warwick, UK. He has produced work on Abel Gance, Sherlock Holmes, Buster Keaton, and Spike Milligan. His first monograph, A revolution for the screen: Abel Gance’s ‘Napoléon’, was published in 2015.

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 76,99 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-38818-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 96,29 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-38817-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Abel Gance and the End of Silent Cinema
Book Subtitle
Sounding out Utopia
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-38818-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-38818-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-38817-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXXII, 241
Number of Illustrations and Tables
21 b/w illustrations
Topics