Directed by legendary filmmaker Rene Clair, “Le Voyage Imaginaire” is full of suggestions in which different genres are mixed (avant-garde, comedy, surrealism) without any real connection. It’s a really bizarre film that relates the complicated relationship between three bank clerks (and their boss) for the typist girl that works with them. Clair creates a dream world which plunges the audience into a universe full of fantasy. There are lady fortunetellers, fairies, classic story characters and even modern heroes such as “Charlot”, not to mention the “Notre Dame” roofs and the museum “Grévin”. Overall it seems to be a kind of deluded fairy tale, extravagant, anxiously exaggerated and very rich in film ideas. That mixed dream world benefits from using all the special effects known at that time (slow motion, double exposure, optical effects) combined with simple backgrounds that are perfect for the formal aspect of the story. It all creates an unreal atmosphere, incredible and dumbfounding at times. —cinestrike.com
Born under the name of René Chomette in 1898, René Clair René Clair started life as a journalist and then turned to the cinema in 1920. At first an actor and assistant director, he started making films with Paris qui dort and Entr’acte (1924), a pearl of the surrealist cinema.
Commercial success and critical acclaim came with the brilliant farce comedy, An Italian Straw Hat (1927) followed by his famous early musical talkies, Le Million (1931) and A nous la liberté (1932). He continued his career in Hollywood during the war and came back to France to make the films of his mature years, Le Silence est d’or (1947) et Les Grandes manœuvres (1955). René Clair was elected to the Académie Française in 1960 and died in 1981. —Octuor de France