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La Roue (The Wheel)

Tonight I finished up watching La Roue, directed by Abel Gance I started watching it last night and went though Section 1. This is a 4.5 hour film. This is also marvelously depressing. There are certainly sweet, cheerful moments but overall this has many, many miserable and sad moments. Quite fitting. Wonderful scenes, great silhouettes, fantastic shadow scenes, many scenes wonderfully tinted, also a number of quick cut scenes. He also uses a number of superimpositions of images. Really a lovely movie. I love the train shots, the gears, the yard, the rails, the switching tracks. The mountain scenes, the snow, the views of the countryside are also wonderful and there is such a difference in the perspectives, the close scenes versus the great open expanses between the first part of the film and the last part. You know this is going to be a fun movie when it starts out with a train wreck and dying people. This makes me think of Unterm Rad (Beneath the Wheel) by Hermann Hesse, which is probably one of the more depressing books I've read. Loved it. The only real similarity between these two is how the wheel of life can crush you. What joy.

Abel Gance directed 52 films and was a writer on 71 films. I have seen but three. I am very curious about the others, very curious.