This depressing French film whose ending is spoiled by the text on the bottom of the advertisement played at the Virginia Theater in Washington, DC 100 years ago today.
The text reads “Soft and Sinister were the kisses of the waters on the cold stones. Clear rang out the voice of the distraught singer, her accents echoing back from the rocks in dissonance dolorosa. Under the waves slept her husband and there only could be the union eternal. And thus, over the sullen tide, she strew the flowers of her triumph, strewed them upon the grave of her husband-lover–upon her grave to be”)
100 years ago, Americans were kind of obsessed with cavemen. There’s a lot more to be done to unpack the complex intertwinings of race/gender/sexuality in this spate of films featuring cavemen than I can do in this blog, but I point interested readers toward some scholarly texts below.
This story looks and sounds a lot like D. W. Griffith’s Man’s Genesis, released the previous year. In both films, two cavemen battle it out for the affections of the girl. And in both films, the girl chooses the man with the intellectual acumen over the man who displays superior brute strength.