The 19th annual April in Paris Film Festival at Cinestudio, Trinity College will present a special screening of Marcel L'Herbier’s 1926 French silent film, Feu Mathias Pascal , on Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 1:30 PM at Cinestudio, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. General admission is $10.00. The theme of the 19th annual April in Paris Film Festival is "Liens et Chaînes --Ties that Bind."
The film will be screened with a new piano accompaniment prepared and performed by Patrick Miller, Associate Professor of Music Theory at The Hartt School. The film is also known by the titles The Living Dead Man and The Late Mathias Pascal. The film will be shown with the film's original French intertitles with new English subtitles. The film has a running time of 170 minutes, and there will be one intermission.
Marcel L'Herbier (1888-1979) is remembered today as an avant-garde French filmmaker who achieved international recognition in the 1920's with a series of visionary silent films. Recent restorations of his silent films have revealed and confirmed L'Herbier's position as one of the titans of French cinema. The Late Mathias Pascal was released in 1926. While a big critical and commercial hit in France, the film found a lukewarm reception in the United States. The film soon disappeared from public view. In 2009, LaCinémathèque française meticulously restored the film to its full running-time length, complete with its original tinting, and the film found new and enthusiastic audiences around the world.
The Late Mathias Pascal is the first film to be based on the 1904 novel Il fu Mattia Pascal by Luigi Pirandello. Legendary Russian screen actor Ivan Mosjoukine plays the title character. The film critic David Melville has written: “The White Russian exile Ivan Mosjoukine was arguably the greatest male star of the silent screen. Imagine an actor who combined the matinée idol looks of John Barrymore with the smoldering sexual magnetism of Valentino, the deft physical comedy of Chaplin with the dark Gothic creepiness of Lon Chaney. It sounds impossible, of course -- unless you've seen Mosjoukine in action!” Pirandello's seriocomic novel had been very popular and successful, and L'Herbier's film version was given a superior production, with exteriors beautifully photographed in Rome and the Italian countryside with almost documentary-like realism and remarkable studio interiors designed by Alberto Cavalcanti. The movie also includes an array of ingenious visual optics and angles, as well as dream sequences shot against black background. Mosjoukine's commanding performance of a man who breaks with ties of family and home and forges a new identity encompasses an extraordinary physical and emotional range, seamlessly moving between farce and tragedy.