Abel Gance’s 1922 epic “La roue” now available on DVD

La roueIn a post praising Flicker Alley’s continual release of otherwise unavailable films, Kristin Thompson reminds us that Abel Gance’s 1922 epic, La roue, long overdue on DVD, was released last year. Though Gance is most well-known for his Napoleon, La roue is often thought of as his greatest picture.

A case in point is the new DVD version of Abel Gance’s 1922 epic, La roue (”The Wheel”), which the enterprising company Flicker Alleyreleased last year. In its short existence since 2002, Flicker Alley has done exciting work. Its recent “A Modern Musketeer” collection finally makes a selection of Douglas Fairbanks’ pre-swashbuckler comedies and dramas available. I personally prefer these lively, witty, imaginative films to Fairbanks’ 1920s costume pictures. Flicker Alley’sGeorge Méliès set is one of the great achievements of DVD production and deservedly won last year’s prize for the best silent DVD set at Il Cinema Ritrovato. Other highlights include F. W. Murnau’s rare psychological drama Phantom (1922) and Louis Feuillade’s serial,Judex (1917). I wrote about Flicker Alley’s release of Discovering Cinema, on early sound and color.