End Of The Week Shorts #8.1 extract: Combat De Boxe (1927)
Combat De Boxe is an experimental film that deals with a sport that has always been bound to cinema (later television of course) since the very beginnings of the form through kinetograph movies such as Corbett and Courtney (1894). In such, Combate De Boxe combines poetry with technological tricks such as double exposure and split screen to capture an abstract montage that serves as an impressionistic depiction of what it is like to be in a boxing match.
What makes Combat De Boxe even more interesting is its formal links to a film that came out 53 years later: the masterpiece, Raging Bull. Whist Scorsese distinguishes (from movies such as Rocky) a strong and unique formal aesthetic in his boxing sequences that really take you inside the ring through POV, Dekeukeleire also does this, but with a clever use of the close-up and negative imagery that have you situated inside the ring, looking outwardly (as if through a boxer's distracted imagination).
This ultimately leaves this a surprising short from the silent era that somehow manages to capture an aesthetic far ahead of its time.