Napoleon: a man fighting against nature, fighting against fate and forever fighting for his country. Throughout this five and a half hour long film, I wanted nothing more than to force my way onto the screen and to fight under his command. A visually stunning film accompanied with a score by Carl Davis that is beyond exhilarating, ‘Napoleon’ just may be the greatest cinematic experience of my life. Extraordinary.
A single image commanded me to see Abel Gance's silent epic. The trailer for the 2016 re-release features an outstanding wide shot of a cloaked rider and his steed galloping across a hilltop, silhouetted against the shimmering, moonlit sea. Seeing this film with a live orchestral score was one of the most memorable cinematic experiences I've ever had. Read my full review at www.filmsofeverycolour.com
It's a fascinating character study of an extraordinarily compelling individual. Napoleon was a man who took control and waged war, not against the Spanish, Russians or Italians, but against an indeterministic, malevolent universe. Like an obsessive film director, Napoleon tamed his surroundings, forcing the cosmos to bow to his own singular vision. Who needs Kubrick if you've already got this film?
Incredibly innovative and dynamic, to the extent that I don't know what to say, because it's hard to make justice for something this epic (the pompous Coppola score got on my nerves, but that's easily fixed). Delicious swinging camera, emotional close-ups, energetic, powerful, explosive. I just wish I'd seen the ending the way it was meant to be seen. To think this was shown in London just two years ago! Fuck!
what a gigantic heap of shit ('Orphans of the Storm' this is not). that swinging camera scene at the end of the first act is so embarassingly desperate and tacky it's laughable. the whole picture (culminated by the ending formation of the French flag in triple camera) reeks of ill-advised decision making and self-importance. brings nothing new to the table that 'Intolerance' didn't already try (and fail).
Napoleon, is one of the true masterpieces of the silent era. It expands the language of cinema even beyond our comprehension today. The use of three separate screens in the climactic invasion of Italy is a technique that is breathtaking. I saw the film with Carmine Coppola, at the baton, fronting a full symphony orchestra at, Radio City Music Hall, and it still gives me shivers. See it, if you can.