Pierrette’s Escapades (1900)

by popegrutch

Alternate Title: Le depart d’Arlequin et de Pierrette, Le Fredaines de Pierrette

Alice Guy produces a short Harlequinade, which is available in hand-tinted color. While it is colorful and interesting, it probably baffles most modern audiences, especially in the United States, where no tradition of Harlequin exists.

Pierrettes EscapadesWhat we see is a woman in colorful clothes, who appears to be getting ready in her dressing room. Suddenly a clown in white of indeterminate gender appears, and seems to try to steal a kiss from her, which she resists. Finally, she sends the clown away and seems to relax. She begins to dance, and suddenly a colorful clown with a bicorne-style hat appears and dances with her (this new clown is definitely played by a woman). She welcomes a kiss from this clown.

Pierrettes Escapades1Without the context of the Harlequin story, this is all fairly obscure, and even with it, it is not perfect. Pierrot is traditionally the name of the “sad clown, pining for the love of Columbine,” and “Pierrette” is a feminized version of that, suggesting that all of the characters in this version are female. I really couldn’t tell the gender of the actor playing Pierrette here, though, partly because she is the one person who doesn’t get any color, and so is just a black-and-white blob. Anyway, the story is essentially that Columbine rejects Pierrot/Pierrette in favor of Harlequin. Sometimes, this makes Pierrot a tragic figure, other times he is a buffoon. Neither of those concepts came across to me here, but Harlequin certainly seemed more fun.

Director: Alice Guy

Camera: Unknown (possibly Alice Guy or Anatole Thiberville)

Cast: Unknown

Run Time: 2 Min

You can watch it for free: here.