In describing L’argent, filmmaker Michael Almereyda said, "The pursuit of wealth [emerges as] a collective fever dream from which no character wants to wake". Paradoxically, this often-scathing critique of wealth and economic power was itself ruinously expensive to make and features an often-dizzying aesthetic and unchained camera that parallels the rise and fall of its protagonists.
Presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI
Marcel L’Herbier’s monumental updating of Émile Zola’s late-19th century novel of rival bankers is a feverish portrait of unfettered capitalism and display on the cusp of the Great Depression. Now widely regarded as the director’s masterpiece, it is a film of epic scope and heightened melodrama that flaunts many of the key symbols of 1920s modernity such as Art Deco design, the wonder of aviation, and the rise of ostentatious consumerism. L’argent is unquestionably one of the great works of late silent cinema.