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La roue

(1923)

also known as: The Wheel

directed by Abel Gance, 262 minutes

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"There is cinema before and after LA ROUE as there is painting before and after Picasso." - Jean Cocteau

Never before released in the United States, this monumental French film is one of the most extraordinary achievements in the whole history of cinema. Written and directed by Abel Gance (NAPOLEON), three years in production and, for its time, unprecedented in length and complexity of emotion, LA ROUE pushed the frontiers of film art beyond all previous efforts.

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Created about 2 years ago.

If my top ten list were to be written rather than improvised, La Roue would be my number one for foreign film and number three for favorite film of all time. This is Abel Gance's best work. He has managed to construct such an epic that is equal only to Victor Hugo (who is referenced in the beginning of the film). The photography, acting, editing, and montages are all excellent. The only thing anyone could see as a downside is the lengthy plot development---but this is not my complaint. I love a film that reads like a novel.

Also, the music by Robert Israel makes this restoration shine!