Silent Film Concert: Rien que les heures

In the history of film, there is a single peak in city portrayals dating back to the last half of the 1920s. Of the central, so called city symphony films of the time, perhaps the least well known is Alberto Cavalcant's depiction of Paris, Rien que les heures. At the same time the film is in many ways unique: the first and deeply personal, vivid, tormented and possibly the most powerful portrayal of a rejoicing person.

Rien que les Heures is so emphatically about people that nothing else really matters. It is today immortalized and it is history, captured in a way only a documentary can. People's professions are a concrete world, with characteristic scents: through a meat cutter we see slaughterhouse imagery. The heart, the beauty and the foulness of the outskirts are all reduced to the theme of waste: events are not always revealed directly, but as fragments of consequences, causality and broken chains of events.

Some of the most beautiful connections never happened: an old woman rocking on her seat, to whom time is meaningless; the snapshots combine accuracy and the idea that time and place always eludes us, despite our will to catch them.

We are also privileged to introduce Dutch Maud Nelissen, one of the world's leading silent film composers and dramaturges, an analytical and lyrical talent, who will give Cavalcant's work a new dimension never witnessed before.

Peter von Bagh | Translation by Pauliina Piitulainen

Photo: Collection EYE Film Instituut Nederland

More information about the composers here.


Silent Film Concert Rien que les heures Fri 27th Jan, Bio Rex at 7 pm. Buy your tickets here!