Not many people know who Max Linder was. The only noticeable monument to him is a historic cinema in the centre of Paris called Max Linder Panorama. But, if we ask any of the spectators where the name comes from, almost no one would be able to answer correctly. If again, we ask, who Charlie Chaplin was; they will know right away.
Max Linder, born in a small town next to Bordeux as Gabriel-Maximilien Leuvielle, was not just one among many cinema pioneers, he was the first international star, earning his fortune in Europe, Russia and the USA, venerated by millions of fans on both continents. Charlie Chaplin learned everything from him and it was on the basis of Linder’s created persona- a resourceful and gallant boulevardier- that Charlie’s character was created. How is it possible that such a significant figure in cinema history has been forgotten?
The answer lies in the dramatic and epic story of Max Linder’s life, which our film will recount, as if Linder was alive today: The five close witnesses of Max Linder’s life will be interviewed on camera. All our re-enacted interviews will be kept in the visual convention of films and photos from first quarter of the 20th century. In parallel, we will develop the narrative re-enactments of Linder’s life, shot as if they were scenes from an early silent movie. The archival footage will be colourized and sonorized by leading contemporary European specialists and supplemented with dramatized sequences stylized to look consistent with the period. These devices will transport Max Linder’s story to the present day.
Finally, the film will not only bring Max Linder’s fascinating character to life but also portray the beginnings of cinema and present a perspective on the phenomenon of stardom, which developed over a century ago and is today one of the most exciting elements of the media world.
Writer & director : Edward Porembny
Production company: AMP Polska
Co-producers: Ladybirds Films, Feierabend Produktion
Producers: Edward Porembny, Adam Leibovitz, Vincent Favrat-Thierry Baujard
In a collaboration with: ARTE, TVP, VRT, RTBF, Wide House, MEDIA Creative Europe