Visages d'enfants (Faces of Children) (1926)
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Audience Reviews for Visages d'enfants (Faces of Children)
stunning film shot on location in the swiss alps in 1923. a precursor of poetic realism, the film treats children in unsentimental fashion despite it's melodramatic story. great acting by the kids especially the young boy, and many beautiful scenes. really surprised it's not better known. on internet archive
Visages d'enfants is about the adventure of life as seen through the eyes of a child. The child in question is Jean, who as the movie begins, is attending his mother's funeral. A sensitive child, he is wrought with grief (to the point he imagines the portrait of his mother comes to life every night and comforts him). The father is a practical man, however, and decides to re-marry so that Jean and his little daughter Pierrette might have a proper upbringing. But Jean hates the idea of his mother being replaced by some interloper, and especially hates his new step-sister, whom he tortures with cruelty and teasing. It's not enough to say this film is beautifully shot, every frame could be made into a still photograph and hung in a museum. The film captures a mood and a setting just right, and being a silent picture, it almost becomes a graphic novel set to life (fans of Chris Ware will see the obvious influence this movie had over his work). The little artistic touches are fantastic: the little band at the harvest festival, the beds of the children, the bread and jam the kids eat for a snack. The swiss alps setting gives the movie an almost timeless feel, while the depth of the emotion on display makes it seem very modern. The child actors, in particular Jean, do a very grown up job of acting. You won't find alot of the over-acting typically found in silent movies here. Visages d'enfants had me from beginning to end, a sweet movie that has stood the test of time.
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