L’Inhumaine. Marcel L’Herbier’s old French 1924 silent film. I saw this one at Ebertfest, along with Darius Milhaud’s original score played live by the Alloy Orchestra. It… messed with my head.
It starts at this awesome crazy-designed mansion of wealthy singer. You see, she’s a babe and there are men competing for her attention. One is jilted and attempts/fakes suicide. People mourn. There’s a big scene at a Paris theatre with a big rabble-rousing crowd. (That scene also features some awesome cameos from real-life friends from the art world – Proust, Joyce, Pound, etc.). The singer feels guilt. The suicide guy returns. One of the other suitors, a Maharaja, seeks revenge for his jilting by posing as a taxi driver and planting a poisonous snake in her cab. She dies. A mad scientist revives her. Etc. That’s not even the half of it. The final trippy hallucinatory sequence is NUTS. There’s montage, translucencies, overlapping images, swapping color filters, flashes of bold color, accelerating cuts. Don’t sleep on the old stuff.