Access to the full text of the entire article is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Article

Gance, Abel (1889–1981) By Adriaensens, Vito

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM314-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 10 December 2018, from
https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/gance-abel-1889-1981

Article

Abel Gance, né Abel Perthon, was a French dramatist, actor, critic, poet, screenwriter, and director. Trying to make it as a playwright and actor from 1906 to 1910, a lack of success led Gance to the cinema. He started writing screenplays and selling them to studios; a newfound belief in the medium even prompted Gance to create a short-lived production company, directing four short films between 1911 and 1912. His delicate health kept him out of the war and landed him a job at Film d’Art (by virtue of severe personnel shortage) where he wrote and directed ten films. Like his contemporaries Delluc, L’Herbier, and Epstein, Gance was a strong vocal advocate for an artistic cinema that maximized the potential of the new medium. To achieve this, they made use of rhythmic editing patterns; optical devices such as masks, dissolves, and multiple exposures; conspicuous camera movements and angles; and much more. They are therefore referred to as the first cinematic avant-garde and, even though their styles differed quite a bit, often categorized as French impressionists. Gance’s reputation hinges on three silent canonic masterpieces, J’acccuse! (1919), La Roue (1923), and Napoléon (1927), in which, as Brownlow notes, “he made a fuller use of the medium than anyone before or since” (1968: 518).

content locked

Published

09/05/2016

Article DOI

10.4324/9781135000356-REM314-1

Print

Related Searches


Citing this article:

Adriaensens, Vito. "Gance, Abel (1889–1981)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 10 Dec. 2018 https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/gance-abel-1889-1981. doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM314-1

Copyright © 2016-2018 Routledge.