Cinésclaff’Arfi

Harry Langdon n'est pas dangereux

For all public from 6, duration 1h00

Harry Langdon isn’t dangerous
He’s facing brutality, cupidity, seduction and authority as a pacifist ; a far seeing thinker, a wise man, a citizen aware of his rights. Yes, but Harry is neither an experienced man, nor a mature or self confident man, it’s the other way round : he’s a baby impressed by wearing long pants. Facing the world, he only has one defence, his disarming goodness, and the pity his awkwardness produces.
The character he plays in his films – directed by Franck Capra or Harry Edwards – is unique; his pot-bellied body and his moonlike made up face lead to unexpected twists and most accurate mimics. He never overdoes his gesture nor his intentions, he acts an outlined, confused and insisting manner all in the same time.
That is the character, whatever scenario he gets messed about, that captured our emotion and attention.
For the musicians, his acting gives precious stage directions to lead a composition or an improvisation.
We decided to pay musical attention to this great clown, closely following him in the striking moments of his relationships to the others : Harry and seduction, law, man strength, money, from extracts of various films.
Music is composed and improvised as well. A precise approach of each instrument will be focussed on, choosing tunes, mixing orchestral tones and dynamics of these (almost) forgotten pictures.
Christian Rollet

Praise of a sad clown
«…Harry absolutely haunts the screen. His whitish face, always looking dazed, intimates a pale sick person rather than a clown. (…) Lost deep in his dreams, Harry is the embodiment of hesitation. He does not really move, he tries some gesture, hesitates, goes on… and then gives it up and falls again into that dreamy state.
Harry has not the good manners of Charlie Chaplin. A woman faints, he runs away ! (…) Langdon has undoubtedly made of Harry one of the first great neurasthenic character in the cinema comedy History.
Fetishist, obsessional, narcissist, infantile… Harry can surprise us at any time.
One must see him, as he was about 40, playing his own son, a baby into a huge cradle (Tramp, Tramp, Tramp), or playing a boy wearing short trousers and trying to escape is parents house (Long pants), to get aware of the disaster… »
From Chérif Saïs, DVDClassik.com

 

Creation in collaboration with Jazzèbre et l’Institut Jean Vigo (2006)

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