PARIS NIGHTCLUB, 1929: THE THICK PLOTTENS
Yesterday I posted some fascinating raw footage of Zelli's Royal Box Nightclub in Paris, shot in 1929 (scroll down to see it, Francois). I wondered at its utility--was it stock for a movie? Documentary footage for a newsreel?--and now have the answer. Sort of. Not really.
Watch the above reel--its a little over two minutes long and utilizes the raw footage as a set-up for a dramatic (sort of) scene that follows. In other words, somebody cut it together like a real movie with a real soundtrack and added a clearly staged scene in which a man and a woman each make phone calls on table top phones. There's even a title card--the movie is called 'A Night In Paris'. (Apparently Zelli's bar really did have telephones on the tables so this pushes my theory--posited yesterday--that this might be some sort of advert film for his club).
What do they say on the phones? I don't know--I don't speaka da French. Why does this little staged drama follow the dancing scene? Is this part of a larger film or is this a lost or abandoned work, of which this is the only surviving portion? I'm sorry to say that I'm now fully obsessed with this film-in-progress and am further away from the answer than I was yesterday, despite the additional footage. And that's enough of that...for the moment...
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 11:25 AM