Bob Balaban's dark comic horror about a young boy suspecting his suburban parents to be cannibals
On Film4: 7 Dec 12:40AM
Six hours' worth of the French legend courtesy of the revered silent film-maker Gance (designed to be watched in two parts although this is so riveting you may well find yourself viewing the whole thing in one go), taking in everything from Boney's childhood, through his escape from Corsica and the French Revolution, and ending with his 1797 invasion of Italy. Originally intended as a six-parter, financial restraints prevented Gance from making the rest, but with a whole string of breathtaking setpieces - from a young Napoleon conducting a simple childhood snowball fight in chillingly militaristic fashion through to the mind-boggling triptych finale intended to be shown over three screens (which makes seeing this in a cinema a must) - this staggering epic achievement still puts a lot of modern blockbusters to shame in terms of originality and trickery.
Every bit as remarkable now as it was in its day.
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