Henry Caruel, 1940s & 1950s Cinema Stereo Photographer: Exhibition and 3-D Presentation in Paris and Two Free Online 3-D Talks (in French & English)

Henry Caruel, 1940s & 1950s Cinema Stereo Photographer: Exhibition and 3-D Presentation in Paris and Two Free Online 3-D Talks (in French & English)

To accompany the exhibition ‘Henri Caruel, Stéréoscopie de Cinéma 1942-1953’, which is taking place until 1st January 2022 at the Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé Foundation, 73, avenue des Gobelins, Paris 13th arrondissement, photo historian Denis Pellerin will be giving two free online 3-D talks ‘Henri Caruel, Still Stereo Photographer During the Occupation of France and the After-War Years’ and an in-person presentation at the Foundation.

At a time when everything was rationed, even film and chemicals, Henri Caruel photographed with his binocular camera the shooting of some thirty films. Some 4,000 of his stereoscopic glass negatives and positives, forgotten for over 60 years, were found in a trunk in 2012. Nearly two hundred of them can be seen at the exhibition and more will be shown during the talks.

THE EXHIBITION IN PARIS

The Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé Foundation, (73, avenue des Gobelins, Paris 13th arrondissement) is holding the exhibition ‘Henri Caruel, Stéréoscopie de Cinéma 1942-1953‘, until 1st January 2022. Henri Caruel was employed by Pathé on more than 16 productions and whilst he was not the only still photographer on these films, he was most certainly the only one to take stereoscopic photographs, using a Monobloc stereo camera. His stereo photographs remain a unique and an as-yet unexplained record of the 1940s and 1950s, and moreover, during the Occupation, when taking a photograph was a very expensive and difficult task.

After the death of Henri Caruel’s wife, his nieces discovered in her attic a trunk filled with four thousand of his unknown stereoscopic glass plates, which were later acquired by the Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé Foundation in 2019. Today a selection of these plates are presented to the public for the first time, and in stereoscopic 3-D.

By comparing the unpublished photos of Henri Caruel with other types of iconographic documents and period promotional material, such as trailers, set photographs, original posters and preparatory models of the set, the exhibition brings to life, in two- and three-dimensions, behind the scenes of cinema under the Occupation and after the war. It also questions the use of stereoscopy for cinema in the 1940s, for which it is only possible to made educated guesses today. The exhibition also allows you to view around 200 3-D photographs taken by Caruel.

The exhibition is spread over three floors, with nine modern kiosks allowing individual viewing and handling of the original stereo photo plates. Also available are digital viewers, as well as a system of 3-D display screens with disposable 3-D glasses.

Denis Pellerin has written a booklet about Henri Caruel and the stereoscopic images to accompany the exhibition, which forms part of a box-set available at the Foundation (we’re trying to find out if it will be for sale outside of the Foundation). The box set also includes 100 of Caruel’s stereoscopic images as cards and a stereoscope. Please see Denis’ Instagram post for details.

IN-PERSON PRESENTATION AND 3-D PROJECTION IN FRENCH

If you are in Paris on Friday 22nd October 2021, Denis will be at the the Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé Foundation to give an in-person two hour 3-D projection and presentation (he’s so excited by these images that I suspect it may even be longer, so bring a picnic) starting at 14:30 CEST, please find the details here.

ONLINE PRESENTATION IN FRENCH

The first talk will be in FRENCH, on Saturday 30th October 18:30 BST (GMT+1). Denis invites you to step back in time and discover, in glorious 3-D, the greatest actresses and actors of the period who appeared in such iconic films as ‘Les Enfants du Paradis’ and ‘Les Portes de la Unit’. At the end of the first part of the evening Denis will have the honour of interviewing a surprise guest. During the second part of the talk, various uncommon aspects of the work of Henri Caruel, the unknown master of Stereoscopy, will be examined. The talk is free but registration on Eventbrite is mandatory, please click here for the link, or sign up below:

Registration will end on Friday 29th October at 17:00 BST and the link will be sent the same evening. If you have not received anything by 19:00 BST (please check your spam folder first), please contact Denis Pellerin at denis@londonstereo.com before the talk starts on the 30th October as he cannot reply to his messages once he is presenting.

ONLINE PRESENTATION IN ENGLISH

The second talk will be in ENGLISH, on Saturday 6th November 18:30 GMT (please note the change from BST to GMT on 31st October). In the first part we will go back in time to discover, in glorious 3-D, the great actors and actresses of the time and some iconic films like ‘Les Enfants du Paradis’ (‘The Children of Paradise’) and ‘Les Portes de la Nuit’ (‘The Gates of the Night’). The second part of the presentation will be devoted to some very unusual aspects of the work of Henri Caruel, the unknown master of Stereoscopy. This presentation will be a shorter version of the one given in French on Saturday 30th October at 18:30 BST. The talk is free but registration on Eventbrite is mandatory, please click here for the link, or sign up below:

Registration will end on Friday 5th November at 17:00 GMT and the link will be sent within 30 minutes. If you have not received anything by 19:00 GMT (please check your spam folder first), please contact Denis Pellerin at denis@londonstereo.com before the talk starts on the 6th November as he cannot reply to his messages once he is presenting.

I have confirmed with Denis that the online talks will be given in the ‘Fancyglyph’ format: on the same screen the images will be shown in different formats, side-by-side cross- and parallel-view, and red and cyan anaglyph, so you can squint, free-view, use a viewer, or red and cyan glasses – please see this post for help.

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I’m fortunate enough to have seen some of the images which will be used in the presentations, which Denis has spent days/ nights/ weeks carefully digitally cleaning, aligning and formatting, and I have to say that we are in for a real treat. It’s incredibly rare to see stereoviews from this era anyway, but the quality of these is mind-blowing.

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