Tih-Minh (Episode 7-9)


Tih-Minh (Episode 7-9)

Louis Feuillade
F, 1918
80min, f/niederlZT_engl_eingespr

© Collection Musée Gaumont

Tih-Minh (Episode 7-9)

Louis Feuillade
F, 1918
, 80min, f/niederlZT_engl_eingespr

René Cresté
Jacques d’Athys
Mary Harald
Georges Biscot
Édouard Mathé
Sir Francis Grey
Louis Leubas
Gaston Michel
Dr. Gilson
Marcel Maruet
Dr. Clauzel
Louis Feuillade
Georges Le Faure
Léon Klausse
Léon Klausse

35 mm

In its repetitions and complexity as well, perhaps no other film is as dreamlike as Louis Feuillade’s phenomenal serial TIH-MINH. Made toward the end of the First World War, and perhaps anticipating a europe of lingering menace, it is more lyrical than the silent crime films of Fritz Lang that it and other Feuillade crime serials may have inspired. Jacques d’Athys has returned home from indochina, accompanied by Tih-Minh, whose father is French, her mother, Asian. Presumed to possess a treasure map in an ancient language, she is repeatedly kidnapped by a trio of avaricious villains, who administer an opium-based potion that induces amnesia, in which state she appears throughout much of the film. she has thus forgotten her father’s death and her intent to avenge it. What beauteous imagery in haunting silence! Rowing across water, with its languorous suggestion of the unconscious; gathering flowers, here associated with the frailty of memory; hidden amidst bushes, a figure of surveillance, whom we alone espy, making us his mirror-image, each reflecting each. TIH-MINH, lasting more than eight dreamy hours (and, because of its open-endedness, lingering longer than that), may be cinema’s greatest orchestration of shadow and light. (Dennis Grunes)