Desfontaines, Henri


Desfontaines, Henri
(1876-1931)
   Actor, director, and screen-writer. Henri Desfontaines began his career in the theater. He was a noted stage actor who worked with Sarah Bernhardt and the great André Antoine at the Théâtre de l'Odéon. It may have been Antoine who introduced Desfontaines to the screen, and he was one of those actors whose presence in a film served as a draw for film audiences. He appeared in various film d'art productions for both Pathé and Studio Film d'art at the beginning of his career, and he was strongly associated with the more artistic vein of filmmaking, particularly literary adaptation, throughout his life.
   Desfontaines's acting career extended from the early silent era into the 1930s. Films in which Desfontaines starred included Albert Capellani's Don Juan (1908), L'Arlésienne (1908), and La Peau de chagrin (1909), Abel Gance's Roman d'une jeune fille pauvre (1909), André Calmettes and Henri Pouctal's Camille Desmoulins (1911) and La Dame aux camélias (1912), Jacques de Baroncelli's Soupçon tragique (1916), Jean Kemm's L'Obstacle (1918), Henri Fescourt's La Maison de la flèche (1930), and Viktor Tourjansky's L'Aiglon (1931).
   Desfontaines also directed films. His first film may have been La Résurrection (1909), which he codirected with Calmettes. His directing activities gained momentum in 1910 or so, when he took over the direction of the film d'art division of Éclipse Studios. Over the course of his career, Desfontaines directed a number of important films, most of them literary adaptations in the film d'art tradition. These include Les Puits et le pendule (1909), an early adaptation of the Edgar Allen Poe story; Shylock (1910), an adaptation of Shakespeare that starred Harry Baur; Cromwell (1911), L'Assassinat d'Henri III (1911), Les Amours de la reine Elisabeth (1912), Anne de Boleyn (1913), and Adrienne Lecouvreur (1913), all of which he codirected with Louis Mercanton; Jésus de Nazareth (1911) and Madame Sans-Gêne (1911), both codirected with Calmettes; Le Secret de Polichinelle (1913); La Reine Margot (1914); Les Bleus de l'amour (1918); La Marseilleise (1920); Les Trois lys (1921); La Fille des chiffonniers (1922); and Le Capitaine Rascasse (1926).
   Desfontaines also directed two series, L'Espionne aux yeux noirs (1925) and Belphégor (1927), the infamous series of a mysterious phantom who haunts the Louvre, and which starred René Navarre. Belphégor, like Desfontaines's early film, Les Puits et la pendule, was also an experiment in the horror genre. In many of his films, Desfontaines also starred and, therefore, directed himself.
   Historical Dictionary of French Cinema by Dayna Oscherwitz & Mary Ellen Higgins

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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  • Desfontaines, Henri — (1876 1931)    Actor, director, and screen writer. Henri Desfontaines began his career in the theater. He was a noted stage actor who worked with Sarah Bernhardt and the great André Antoine at the Théâtre de l Odéon. It may have been Antoine who… …   Historical Dictionary of French Cinema

  • Desfontaines, Henri — (Paul Henri Lapierre / November 12, 1876, Paris, France January 7, 1931, Paris, France)    A stage actor at theThéâtre Libre d Antoine, he entered films playing in Pathé s productions (1908 L Arlésienne, short, Albert Capellani; Don Juan, short,… …   Encyclopedia of French film directors

  • Henri bellery-desfontaines — Henri Bellery Desfontaines, né à Paris le 20 mars 1867 et mort le 7 octobre 1909, est un artiste français touche à tout, qui a produit des tableaux, des illustrations, des affiches, des lithographies, des dessins de tapis, de meubles et d …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Henri Bellery-Desfontaines — Henri Bellery Desfontaines. Henri Bellery Desfontaines (1867 1909) pintor Art Nouveau francés, decorador e ilustrador de carteles, litografías, tapices, muebles, billetes de banco, etc. Creó los caracteres de imprenta Bellery Desfontaines large y …   Wikipedia Español

  • Henri Bellery-Desfontaines — Henri Bellery Desfontaines, né à Paris le 20 mars 1867 et mort le 7 octobre 1909, est un artiste français touche à tout, qui a produit des tableaux, des illustrations, des affiches, des lithographies, des dessins de tapis, de meubles et de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Henri Bellery-Desfontaines — Henri Bellery Desfontaines, um 1902 Henri Jules Ferdinand Bellery Desfontaines (* 20. März 1867 in Paris; † 7. Oktober 1909 in Les Petites Dalles, Normandie) war ein französischer Maler, Illustrator, Graphiker und Designer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Henri Bellery-Desfontaines — (1867 1909) was a French Art Nouveau painter, decorator and illustrator of posters, lithographs, tapestries, furniture, bank bills, etc. He created the printing works characters of Bellery Desfontaines large and Bellery Desfontaines étroit for… …   Wikipedia

  • Henri Desfontaines — (12 November 1876, Paris 7 January 1931, Paris) was a French film director, actor and scriptwriter. Life Filmography As director * 1908 : Hamlet * 1909 : Le Puits et le pendule * 1910 : Un invité gênant * 1910 : Shylock, le marchand de Venise (… …   Wikipedia

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