The Ferocious Brilliance of Nelly Kaplan

  • MUBI
A Very Curious Girl. Courtesy of Lobster Films.Nelly Kaplan’s eloquent, vitriolic comedies are often social parables of vengeance, in which the weak rise up to serve the powerful their comeuppance. Joan Dupont recently described in Film Quarterly how the Argentine-born Kaplan had a modest start: She arrived in France, in 1953, at the age of 22, with mere 50 dollars and a letter of introduction to Cinémathèque française Director Henri Langois. She then worked as assistant director to film legend Abel Gance, with whom she had a romance, and launched her own career, making some fifteen films, among them vivacious comedies, documentary portraits of artists, and films for television—including a documentary, Abel Gance and His Napoléon (1984), about the filming of Gance’s epic, Napoléon (1927). And yet, despite her promising start and her having worked into the early 1990s, by the time Dupont wrote about her, Kaplan had been mostly forgotten.
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