The Italian Straw Hat (Un Chapeau de paille d'Italie) DVD


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Portions of The Italian Straw Hat were shown in the Hans Richter: Encounters exhibition at LACMA.

This silent film was directed by René Clair who formed Cinéma Pur, an avant-garde film movement with Hans Richter, Man Ray, Ferdinand Léger and others.

The Italian Straw Hat was based on an 1851 play by Eugène Labiche and Marc Michel. It is a comedy of manners and a satire on propriety and behavior in the middle-class mind-set. Transposing the action of the perennial stage farce from 1851 to a summer wedding day in 1895 – the birth of cinema – Clair recalls detail, costume and design captured by the first movies.

The film has a dozen eccentric characters who try desperately to keep up appearances in the face of disaster. A horse eats a lady's hat while the lady is hidden behind the bush with her lover and that sets off a series of escapades.

- In black & white
- 144 minutes
- 2 additional short films
- Booklet on René Clair

SKU: 26858

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