Le songe d’un garçon de café (1910)    2 Stars
Le songe d'un garçon de café (1910)
Le songe d’un garçon de café (1910)

Director: Emile Cohl


Synopsis: A surreal warning about the perils of alcohol.





A fast-moving, stream-of-consciousness warning against the perils of café society – and alcohol in particular – from Emile Cohl, the one-time darling of the now-forgotten French Incoherent Movement, Le songe d’un garcon de café (UK: Café Waiter’s Dream, US: Hasher’s Delirium) is too short to grow tiresome.   Its imagery is deliberately infantile, and like a restless child with an urge to create, Cohl made up his animations as he went along.   There is a storyline of sorts, with a man seeing images of the somewhat surreal perils associated with alcohol before he himself is transformed in a fashion that enables him to administer a kicking to his own backside.   The message is clear, and it’s told in a fun, amusing fashion.   Sadly for Cohl, his work fell out of fashion after WWI and he spent his later years in abject poverty.   The poor chap died – within hours of that other great French cinema pioneer, Georges Melies – shortly after accidentally setting fire to his beard with a candle…

(Reviewed 15th February 2015)

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