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Menilmontant Barbican Poster

An afternoon of dazzling experimental silent films from the 1920s.

The programme is anchored by Dimitri Kirsanoff’s masterpiece Ménilmontant’, pure melodrama in terms of story – two sisters move to Paris from the country where they are drawn into a tragic love triangle – but utterly extraordinary in execution.

The plot is communicated entirely with imagery, without recourse to intertitles, and, most startlingly we open in medias res right in the thick of an axe murder conveyed in near-abstract montage. Thereafter Kirsanoff uses a wide palette of avant-garde techniques, all the while making lyrical, melancholy use of settings, especially the desolate working-class Parisian district of the film’s title.

Ménilmontant screens here with the director’s later short Autumn Mists (1928) and a selection of works by his contemporary, Germaine Dulac, with music composed by the Electronic & Produced Music Department.


Thèmes et variations (France 1928 Dir Germaine Dulac 11 min)

Etude cinégraphique sur une arabesque (France 1929 Dir Germaine Dulac 8 min)

Disque 957 (France 1928 Dir Germaine Dulac 6 min)

Celles qui s'en font (France 1930 Dir Germaine Dulac 6 min)

Autumn Mists (France 1928 Dir Dimitri Kirsanoff 12 min)

Ménilmontant (France 1924 Dir Dimitri Kirsanoff 42 min)

Executive Producer

Mike Roberts

Director and Music Supervisor

Barbara De Biasi

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