Musée d'Orsay: Lady Windermere's Fan

Lady Windermere's Fan

Ernst Lubitsch
1925. English, Fr subtitles
86 mins
Silent with musical accompaniment

The young Lady Windermere leads a carefree life until the day she surprises her husband with a mysterious woman.

Lady Windermere's Fan belongs to a genre American critics defined as "sex comedy", where couples are faced with the issue of adultery either accidental or by seduction. In this film, Lubitsch develops his technique of irony and understatement, while continuing to play with off-screen space, and use objects and elements in the set as hiding places. The filmmaker takes liberties with Wilde’s play, revealing to the viewer right at the beginning, a secret that the heroine herself does not yet know, a totally new narrative device at the time, and a precursor of Hitchcock’s suspense techniques. The subtle direction reflects the more serious side of Wilde’s text.

Lady Windermere's Fan
Extrait deL'éventail de Lady WindermereErnst Lubitsch, 1925© Les grands films classiques

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