cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

FILM decoupage VII (Encroyable! Bien plus? Sûrement pas?)




Are there any examples of decoupage? This would be a lot easier than trying to work out what it was from a welter of different ideas. The main thing is that film analysts and theorists see finished films, rarely scripts and certainly not shooting scripts.


The only example I’ve come across, which has been linked to before for anyone following these decouage posts through on an internal blog search, is in :


French Film Theory and Criticism: A History/Anthology 1907-1939 by Richard Abel (Google Book)

An extract from “Le Filmage,” Le Cinema (Paris: Renaissance du livre, 1919), 145-68 by Henri Diamant-Berger (1895-1972), a French director, producer and screenwriter, has an example of decoupage written by him as an illustration:








He explains that “This scene, as cut up into twenty-six pieces in the scenario, calls for fifteen camera set ups and measures 50 metres in length. You will notice, of course, that a scene thus exhibited out of context carried a completely arbitrary significance and that, according to to its placement in a film, it should be treated in a manner that is either more or less synthesised or balenced.”

Also: the median length of a shot is 2-5 metres (1 meter might be about 2 seconds). There is mention of ‘extremely special decoupages’. Footnote 2 of this extract – or is it a whole article – giving as examples where they can be found in Gance’s J’Accuse (1919) and Griffith’s Intolerance (1916)


He finishes with:

The decoupage is as indispensable to the cinema as dialogue is to the theater or punctuation is two writing…..



This presumably is decoupage technique.


Another way of looking at decoupage would be to look for specific mention of decoupagers in credits. The only one I’ve found so far is is for Falbalas or “Paris Frills” (1945).

Maurice Aubergé (scenario and adaptation)

Jacques Becker (scenario and adaptation)

Maurice Griffe (scenario and adaptation)

Jacques Becker (decoupage)

Maurice Aubergé (dialogue)




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January 18, 2012 - Posted by | decoupage |

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