L’Inhumaine (New Restoration!)
dir. Marcel L’Herbier, France, 1924, DCP, b/w, silent with English subtitles, original scores from Aidje Tafial and the Alloy Orchestra, 122 min
Released to intense controversy in 1924 for its cinematic and technical innovations, L’Inhumaine (The Inhuman Woman) is a visual tour-de-force; a fantastical, science-fiction melodrama; and a momentous collaboration of legendary figures from the avant-garde movement. Directed by Marcel L’Herbier (L’Argent, Feu Mathias Pascal) and starring the famous French opera singer Georgette Leblanc – who helped produce the film along with L’Herbier’s company, Cinégraphic – L’Inhumaine is most notable for the style of filmmaking. In L’Herbier’s words, it represents a “miscellany of modern art,” bringing together some of the greatest artists from the time period, including painter Fernand Léger, architect Robert Mallet-Stevens, glassmaker René Lalique, fashion designer Paul Poiret, and directors Alberto Cavalcanti and Claude Autant-Lara, among others, to create a collaborative cinematic experience.