L'Inhumaine

Part-financed by American singer Georgette Leblanc, who also stars, this was designed as a sort of showcase for contemporary French arts. So, decorating a tolerably camp story about a heartless woman (Leblanc) who is poisoned by one disappointed lover (Hériat) and scientifically resuscitated into new humanity by another (Catelain), it boasts extravagant Cubist settings (by Fernand Léger, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Claude Autant-Lara and Alberto Cavalcanti), features costumes by Paul Poiret, incorporates a Jean Borlin ballet, makes coy reference to radio and TV, and was originally accompanied by a Darius Milhaud score. The result, resolutely chic, brought instant sneers about aesthetic dilettantism which L'Herbier was subsequently never quite able to shake off. But despite the wretched acting and daft script (by Pierre Mac Orlan), the last third of the film, in which L'Herbier's attempt to apply a different mood and rhythm to each setting begins to pay dividends, is often remarkable in the way it manipulates space as an autonomous element in the drama.

Release details

Duration: 6 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Marcel L'Herbier
Screenwriter: Marcel L'Herbier, Pierre Mac Orlan
Cast: Georgette Leblanc
Jaque Catelain
Philippe Hériat
Marcelle Pradot
Fred Kellerman
Bonambellas
Jean Börlin
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