Andrea Mariani | Sayumi Kometani
Cinema, storia, media
archive,tag,tag-sayumi-kometani,tag-169,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-3.8,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.1.1,vc_responsive
  • Sort Blog:
  • All
  • (Un)Dead Media Project
  • Cinema
  • European Screen Studies
  • Eventi
  • L'audacissimo Viaggio
  • Libri
  • Media
  • Ricerca
  • Uncategorized
  • Viaggio
  • Work

Sayumi Kometani on Sous Les Toits de Paris (1930)



In this blog post, I would like to discuss the importance of the film: Under the Roofs of Parisespecially in the expressions of realism in the film and its use of new technology.

Under the Roofs of Parisis a French movie that were shot in 1930 in France. The genre of the film is categorized as the standard entertainment genre which most of the time aim to display every-day exercise of talent and tradition according to a researcher Andrew Dudley.



Around this era, realism was the one of the main ideas reflected on French films. It was popular to depict a story of every-day lives of ‘normal’ people. Under the Roofs of Parisis also one of them. Many French films inclined toward casting normal citizens to play characters in the films in order to express the everyday happenings more accurately rather than politicians or heroes while primarily one of the means of star actors were to address current social issues indirectly. To maximize the realism countenance and let the audience enjoy the peculiar relationship between the characters, the plot, dialogue, and decor were designed to prepare for those moments when the actor could play himself.



One of the impressive points in the film was a song. As reported by Dudley, there was a tendency that French public demanded more familiar songs, singers and routines. In this film, one of the most explicit examples which you can find is the song sang by the main character Albert and other characters. There was one particular song kept being sang by the characters and played in a lot of scenes. It appears that the story of the film always involve around this song. Because of the intention of the movie was to express the every-day life of French people back in the day, it seemed like that the song itself and the action itself of how people always sing together at a square were speaking to the spectators.



The technical use of the body language in the film was also one of the most interesting parts of the film. Despite the fact that there were not so many lines of the characters, the body language of the characters was not very expressive. On the other hand, the first film we watched for the blog post: Cabiria, it seemed that the expressions of the characters by their body language were quite emphasized. In terms of slowness of the films, personally I thought that they were similar. In my opinion, one of the reasons why this approach was used is due to the topic of the film. As I mentioned before since the plot is about people’s every-day life, there was not so much confusion and it is also easy to follow the story without much of characters speaking their parts. Unlike other films with not many lines of the characters, the limitation of the lines and no description line between different scenes, the movie succeeded in conceiving its story to the spectators.


Sayumi Kometani on Cabiria (1915)

In this very first post in the blog, the target of the research is an Italian silent film called Cabiriawhich was made in 1914. In the beginning, a concise introduction to the film, its conspicuous process of the production, and technical analysis will be given.


First of all, I would like to give a very brief summary of Cabiria. Cabiria: a daughter of Batto and her nurse Coroessa are kidnapped by some pirates during the Last Days of Pompeii. She is sold as a slave in Carthage to be sacrificed to god Moloch. A Roman spy Fulvius and his slave Maciste rescue her and she ends up in the queen Sophonisba’s care. In the next ten years, after many wars and Carthage falls to the Romans and Cabiria returns home.



There were also several other factors which feature Cabiriain the course of producing the film. One of them was the director: Pastron’s play. He had many responsibilities in different aspects of the production. He was not only in charge of directing the film but also the set, costume design, shooting, and editing. The introduction of the new technics that Pastron demonstrated later made Cabiriato transform a significant cultural landscape.

Speaking of characters, there was one character who especially caught my attention for the technical use of camera movement to shoot him. There was an interesting scene in which a man appears on the screen for the first time, who later helps Fuvius and Maciste to hide when they are running away from pirates to protect Cabiria. Most of the scenes were taken by a fixed camera and from objective perspectives. In this scene, he was shot as if he was talking to spectators: looking directly into the fixed camera. He was distinguished from other characters by the effective technic of shooting-angle. As one of the spectators, it was easy to see that the man had an important role in the movie when I first did not know about his role at the very first time he was revealed.



To provide an analysis on, I will introduce two kinds of system in attractions. Firstly, “system of monstrative attractions” was dominated early in the film’s history until around 1908. In this system, filmic monstration and attraction were always primary instead of film narration. Secondly, “system of narrative integration” kept its domination until 1914 which is the year Cabiriawas shot. Within the system of narrative integration, close-ups, high-angle shots, and tracking shots had more functioning than within the system of monstractive attractions.

These systems were illustrated in Cabiria. One of the outstanding techniques that was used in the film was close-up of camera’s movement. Some of the scenes in the film were distinguished by the influential function of close-up. There were also a few black screens without any comments nor narration that were placed between scenes. These effects were not applicated frequently. They were exercised in order to emphasize some scenes or characters. Considering the era when the project ofCabiriastarted, it is easy to contemplate that the system of narrative integration as stylistic choices of camera operators was illustrated in the film since this system extended its domination up to 1914. You are able to see the more functional use of camera operators.

With the outstanding way of producing the film and the introduction of the new techniques,Cabiriawas a successful project that became a significant cultural landscape.