Translation of: El Idolo de las muchachas cursis, El Nacional, Jun. 27, 1916

Back to Original Text

 

CHRONICLES OF CINEMA

 

The Idol of the tacky girls

 

 

   Among the means used by cinema entrepreneurs to attract the public, and by the heads of the journals devoted to film art, to hype the leading artists, whose eulogies are the most important resource of the aforementioned newspapers, there are contests between the actors in cinema, the jury being "cultivated and intelligent audience." In these contests always comes to mind, of all luminary actors, and sometimes even ahead of the actors in general, the famous Max Linder. And for this reason, because today the lack of any interesting premieres in theaters this capital requires me to take care of my stories, not movies, but of all the artists who work in them, I will begin with him, who unites the most votes of the coarse public, he, who certainly, at least outside of France, has achieved the largest celebrity.

   Of course, the boundless admiration that some profess Max Linder is far from being justified. First of all, Max is not an artist. Perhaps some will think you do not need to be an artist to work on comic view, since even the ridiculous name of "views of art" is reserved for some feature films, which usually develop dramatic issues.

   However, everything is art: cook who is not a good culinary artist, will be a bad cook. Similarly there is the art of making people laugh. And if not, compare mimic Prince (better known by his nickname Salustiano) with Max, and see if a comedian, even in the cinema, can and should or may not be an artist. This does not mean that Max Linder is not very fun. The bad cook will not feed me well, but can easily satisfy my hunger. Similarly, a comic actor can make you laugh even without being an artist. Only that laughter is coarser, less spiritual.

   You can still concede that there are hilarious details on Max Linder interpretation of his roles. However, these details do not reside almost never in the interpretation itself, but come from the script.

   Truth is that it ensures that Max Linder writes the scripts of the pictures, he himself has to represent. But it is not difficult, when you have half a million francs a year, which is what wins Max, to find one who devises ingenious stories and discreetly conceals his signature.

   What he does have Max Linder, is that without being an artist, is a superb actor cinema.

   First, has very good figure; and in saying this I do not mean the features of his face or proportions of his body but a certain harmony of his movements and gestures, which gives an excellent result on the screen. With it can rest assured the stage manager, that no film will be spoilt.

   Moreover, he is a top sportsman. No sport or means of transport that is invented, which he does not risk immediately. Since his beginnings in cinema learned either naturally or driving a car, that launches at dizzying speeds. We saw him in balloon and airplane, skating, running in the snow with "skis" on the feet or sitting on the "sledge". There is nothing he does not dare, and the remarkable thing is that until now has not had broken ribs or head.

   Neither the "tangos" and "trés-moutard" have no secrets for him, which is studied as they form.

   This allows him to represent varied roles, very moved, with which enthusiastic laugh easily is provoked.

   There is another reason for admiration with which I am not satisfied. I mean his alleged elegance. I must say that in Paris nobody believes the distinction of Max Linder. It is "chic" for export. His elegance, at best, be on dresses; otherwise, gesture and in all his ways, reveals a little refined education.

   So Max Linder must be considered as a clown, excellent clown, yes, but nothing more.

Jean HUMBLOT.

(Jun. 27, 1916 El Nacional, Mexico)