NOTHING BUT TIME

NOTHING BUT TIME (RIEN QUE LES HEURES)

(director/writer: Alberto Cavalcanti; cinematographer: James Rogers; music: Larry Marotta; cast: Blanche Bernis, Nina Chousvalowa, Philippe Hériat; Runtime: 46; MPAA Rating: NR; Kino; 1930-silent)

“Mildly diverting as a curio.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Alberto Cavalcanti (“Dead of Night”) directs this short on a Paris, as seen through the surreal images he captures on film. It’s an experimental documentary, that looks at the city from dawn to dusk from a different prospective than usual–no monuments sighted here. It offers no commentary, but through the visuals of a streetwalker plying her trade, a sailor on the prowl, rats scurrying around street trash cans, a lost rag doll going down a gutter, kids laughing it up at a fair, newspapers hawked on the street by salesgirls, a frail elderly woman gingerly navigating her way down a steep back alley, dogs being groomed at a pet store and sundry other images, that allows us to see a Paris filled with ‘invisible ordinary folks’ doing mundane things that interested the filmmaker enough to make it seem lyrical. It’s mildly diverting as a curio, with evocative sightings of a time no longer with us and therefore it offers us an invaluable record at what that era looked like from an artist’s POV.Its title card states: “In this city, both time and space escape us.”

Rien que les heures (1926)

REVIEWED ON 5/15/2011 GRADE: B