The Inhuman Woman


Adventure / Drama / Mystery

IMDb Rating 7.2 10 512


Downloaded 8,282 times
November 3, 2019


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1.09 GB
23.976 fps
135 min
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1.95 GB
23.976 fps
135 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ziggy5446 10 / 10 / 10

L'Inhumaine summed up the whole avant-garde society drama with it's merry-go-round of subliminal passions and its neo-Cubist sets!

With Marcel L'Herbier's L'Inhumaine, whose sets were designed by Robert Mallet-Stevens, Alberto Cavalcanti, Fernand Leger, and Claude Autant-Lara, architecture became a supreme screen of sets. Concerned with modern ornament, L'Inhumaine would synthesize the design aesthetic of the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, for all who worked on this film (including Paul Poiret, who did the fashions) came to define avant-garde design at the Exposition in the following year. The architect Mallet-Stevens, who designed the pavilion of tourism at the Exposition, was the theoretician of the film set. In his writing on decor, he conceived the set of a film as a work of draftsmanship and a working drawing. He was particularly concerned with rendering hap-tic volumetric(s) and depth and emphasized aesthetic techniques of relief in the design of filmic decor. L'Inhumaine, a film that turned the architect Adolf Loos into an enthusiastic film critic, opens with an industrial vista of Paris as displayed from the "moderne" villa of Mallet-Stevens. This house is inhabited by "the inhuman one" – a woman. Georgette Leblanc, who conceived the idea for the film, plays Claire Lescot. She is a soprano who presides over an international salon of men, hosting dinner parties served by masked waiters in an inner patio that resembles a refashioned impluvium. This particular set was designed by Cavalcanti, who, in his own Rien que les beures, would constantly return to the theme of food, conceiving the urban rhythm as its own metabolic matter. Claire's salon is frequented by two suitors who battle of her affection. The engineer, Einat, ends up winning he love by showing her the workings of his very modern "cabinet of curiosity." Claire delights in the marvels of this laboratory (deigned by Leger), in which she can futuristic-ally watch her audiences on a screen just as they are able to hear her sing. As the inter-titles suggest, "she voyages in space without moving," reaching visions of artists in their studios, partaking of the bustling life on the street, and following people driving cars and riding trains. In this way, she lives "through the joy and the pain of human beings." No wonder her other suitor becomes jealous and poisons her. But Einar's laboratory contains residual traces of its genealogy: it can perform alchemy. What is more, it is outfitted with an extra chamber, equipped with a mechanism for reviving the dead. This lab of transformation becomes activated in a sequence that resonates with Fritz Lang's Metropolis. With superimposition's and rapid montage, the laboratory offers what the inter-titles call "a symphony of labor," which brings our voyage-use back to life and to the liveliness of her urban salon. The film was made by L'Herbier's own production company, who deliberately chose an awkward science fiction plot in which L'Inhumaine serves as the pretext for some virtuoso displays of cinematographic virtuosity, and as the narrative justification for some remarkable decors. The sets are a microcosm of the whole film: they are in very different styles, and going from one to the next produces an almost physical shock. The film was very poorly received, both by critics and by the public, and one can see why. It is arguably the first great example in the narrative cinema of the so-called post modernist aesthetic. For the coherence of a stable fictional world with suitably "round" characters who undergo various experiences, L'Inhumaine substitutes a fundamentally incoherent world of pastiche, parody, and quotation. Its flat characters provide no stability; they are but puppets in the hands of an unpredictable, perhaps even mad storyteller. The film uses many devices from the stylistic repertoire of cinematic impressionism, but rather than amplifying and explicating the narrative, they serve instead to call it into question.

Reviewed by kickboyface-1 / 10

Mash Up of Two of the Greatest Films of All Time

I'm a fairly avid film guy -- especially when it comes to the avant garde and silent tributaries of cinema. (I mean, come on, I took film classes from Stan Brakhage for cryin' out loud.) Maybe I'm the stupidest kid on my block, but I'd never even HEARD of L'Humaine until it played at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's "Day of Silents" last week at the Castro Theatre. It is absolutely stunning. You could get all snooty and long-winded about this film, but in my mind it all boils down to this: Metropolis meets Frankenstein in geometry class. I'd even go so far as to say this movie is better than Metropolis ... But I'm the first to admit that my thinking may have more to do with the fact that I've seen that film a couple dozen times (ie. I know what to expect when I see it) and I'd never seen this movie at all. When I first started this review, I gave it a 9 thinking nothing's perfect. But honestly, I can't think of something "wrong" with it. Viewing L'inhumaine for the first time was one of the most moving and significant viewings of film in my life. Right up there with 2001 in a Cinerama theater in 1968. Georgette Leblanc stands out well above an otherwise truly great cast showing a remarkable amount of breadth in her role. What starts out looking like a 2D character becomes someone much much bigger (with a surprising amount of subtlety considering the acting standards of both the French as well as silent film of the time). When I saw it, the movie was accompanied by the incredible Alloy Orchestra playing live (which kind of adds a very appropriate Devo overtone to it all). It's worth taking a look at their Website to see if/when they're playing with the film. If you've read this far in my review, it'd definitely be worth making a trip to see the whole spectacle. (I have very little doubt that they'll probably eventually release a version of the film with their soundtrack affixed. Get it if they do.) Thanks for reading.

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