Watching Napoleon with Kevin Brownlow

Watching Napoleon with Kevin Brownlow

Last week, on assignment for France 24, I attended the U.S. premiere of film historian Kevin Brownlow’s most recent restoration of Abel Gance’s monumental 1927 silent epic Napoleon. Under the auspices of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, over the course of four nights, roughly 12 000 people experienced cinematic history. Gance’s film hadn’t graced a North American screen since a Francis Ford Coppola-produced roadshow played several cities, including Toronto’s O’Keefe Centre, over thirty years…

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