On the Banks of the Camera

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This is a montage film in the style of a surrealist collage.

These hijacked and reassembled images subvert each other, and organise, or rather disorganise, the world: zaniness, comedy, incoherent jumble, and violence are present in strange events where all the spectators of a stadium become voyeurs, where hunters hunt peaceful young gymnasts, where fires follow catastrophes, where falling into swimming pools seems to be a normal everyday occurrence. This “exquisite corpse” in images is perfectly exhilarating and subversive.


Montage of news items from 1928


Editing : Henri Storck

Distribution : ADAC film Brussels


35mm/B and W/silent/10’/1932


The shots are woven together to create a secret and sly relationship that betrays a few indelible features of the era, which resembles itself all the more for the fact of being self-caricatured and stylised… without a doubt, while the film clearly shows us something true about those years, it also reveals the director to us, perhaps more than he realised.

Jean Queval, Henri Storck ou la traversée du cinéma, Festival National du Film belge, 1976


No less sarcastic is Sur les bords de la caméra. We see rhythmic dances and gymnastic exercises in slow motion, an orchestra conductor and a country race, an astronomer looking through a telescope at young swimmers, and acrobats and scientists in opera hats, the whole alternating with scenes of tumultuous crowds. This film is a mixture of the eccentric associations of Vertov’s editing and the sharp moods of René Clair… Storck’s film ends with a crowd in turmoil in the streets, factories in flames and smoke filling the sky. It is a direct incitement to insurrection.

Michele Canosa, Henri Storck, il litorale belga, Campanotto Editore, Udine, 1994