'Napoleon' is pure cinema, and cinema was designed for sharing. There's something about the way it was shot that makes it like no other. I can't tell you how many people, having seen our restoration, have said: "That was the greatest experience I have ever had in a motion picture theatre." - Kevin Brownlow
Powered along by Carl Davis's invigorating orchestral score, this is a biopic that pairs the grandeur of its subject's work and vision with its own cinematic innovations. You will have read about the triptychs that close the movie but perhaps you've also heard about the flash cuts, superimpositions, multiple exposures and the cameras mounted on horseback. The first act of the film in this Kevin Brownlow restoration contains much of its experimentation and bravado. It follows Napoleon as an alienated schoolboy, and his disastrous return as a young man to his native Corsica. The snowball fight that opens the film, in which Bonaparte and nine friends strategize their way to a crucial victory over 40 of their peers, is a beauty - staged as if were the culmination of a bloody war.
The effect on the viewer of the final act is truly mesmerizing. At the centre of it all, Albert Dieudonné's graven face, beneath that famous hat, surveys his own triumph. It's a monument to patriotism of course, but the work of Gance, of Brownlow and of Davis, will rekindle devotion not to a country but to the cinematic arts.
We present this true epic of cinema (five-hours-forty-minutes which appears to go by in a flash) in two parts, allowing for a lunch break at either Woodies, or one of our many other local restaurants.
France 1927 Abel Gance / Kevin Brownlow 235m (plus lunch intervals)
11:00 Act1 (113m) - 15m Interval - Act2 (63m)
14:11 Lunch Interval
16:15 Act3 (107m) - 15m Interval - Act4 (49m) - Ends 19:06
Tickets: Film Only - £12.50 (Friends/Students £10)
Film & Food - £22.50 (Friends/Students £20) - Limited to 50 people.