Abel Gance: the charm of dynamite

United States, 1968

Please note

Sorry, we don't have images or video for this item.

French film director Abel Gance made outstanding contributions to cinema history through the innovations contained in his films. This film showcase these innovations, which include distorting the image, hand-held camera, dollying and close-up, rapid cutting, multiple superimposition (up to sixteen images at one time), 3D, multiple split screen and Polyvision, a Cinerama prototype using three synchronized cameras. He even lodged a patent for Prospective Sound, which is the basis for what has become stereo sound. His Film “Napoleon” (1927), in particular, is an encyclopaedia of film techniques. “The Charm of Dynamite” uses sequences from “Napoleon” (1927), “La roue (1923) and “J’accuse” (1919) to show the genius of this man. This documentary narrated by Lindsay Anderson and directed by Kevin Brownlow also includes Abel Gance in interview and some amazing behind the scenes footage of the techniques used in making his films. Director and film historian Brownlow would later reconstruct “Napoleon” for a revival premiere in 1980.

How to watch

This work has not been digitised and is currently unavailable to view online. It may be possible for approved reseachers to view onsite at ACMI.

Learn more about accessing our collection


In ACMI's collection



Kevin Brownlow


Barrie Gavin

production company

Rath Films



Production places
United States
Production dates

Please note: this archive is an ongoing body of work. Sometimes the credit information (director, year etc) isn’t available so these fields may be left blank; we are progressively filling these in with further research.

Cite this work on Wikipedia

If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/75313--abel-gance-the-charm-of-dynamite/ |title=Abel Gance: the charm of dynamite |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=27 September 2023 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}