Maps feature heavily, but the central spatial machinery connecting places in the film is the sending of postcards:
The several maps in this room and the proto-cartographic aerial views we also see suggest that, like many aviation films, La Proie du vent will manifest, in Teresa Castro's phrase, 'la pensée cartographique des images'. But twenty minutes in, after the aviator crashlands in a Slovakian forest, the film becomes for the last hour something completely different, a romantic thriller in a sinister castle.
copyright: 'La Proie de l'ombre', René Clair – 1927, La Cinémathèque française
A different ocean, the Pacific, at the line between North and South.
And the two other maps in the film.
The 1952 Prisoner of Zenda (see here) is a sequence-for-sequence, almost a shot-for-shot, remake of the 1937 version, using the same shooting script.
Some of the slight differences between the versions concern the use of maps. For example, the earlier film's opening has the written prologue superimposed on a map, followed by the map alone, then comes a train; the later version shows the written prologue on its own, followed by a superimposition of map and train:
The 1952 version actually borrows the footage of the train from the earlier film. This superimposition is both intertextual, acknowledging the pretext, and intermedial, laying colour film over black-and-white. (Incidentally, there are no maps in Richard Quine's 1979 version of The Prisoner of Zenda, made from a new script,so the intertextual chain stops at this post.)
In Duke Michael's room there is an astrolabe rather than the globe we see in the later film:
In both films there is the same sequence where the rescue from Zenda is planned, though the maps are not of the same castle:
After a written prologue the film opens with a map superimposed on an advancing train, the Orient Express, heading East. This movement across Europe suggests the general vicinity of Ruritania, without having to show the fictional country on the map:
According to the panel on the train, Strelsau, the capital of Ruritania, is somewhere between Vienna and Bucharest:
A globe serves as a real-world counterpoint to the fanciful place names that identify these protagonists - Antoinette de Mauban, Michael Duke of Strelsau and Rupert of Hentzau:
The film's last map is entirely fictional, a plan of the castle of Zenda from which the King must be rescued:
After pointing to relevant locales on the map of France, Moullet's New Wave documentary (reflexive, intertextual, montage-driven, jumpcutting) about abandoned or near-abandoned villages uses regional maps to fix exactly the places filmed, and to illustrate movement from one place to another:
Two maps in the mise-en-scène, in schoolrooms, serve as counterpoint to the maps in the montage:
Among the several modes of representation at work in Soutter's third film, the opposition documentary/fiction is central. In front of a large regional map a journalist who is preparing a broadcast on Lenin's time in Geneva enumerates to camera his various addresses, and the film documents each of them. When the last of these, 61 rue des Maraîchers, is shown, a woman with a suitcase walks into the building, initiating the fiction:
Later we see the journalist's office as part of the fictional world (the camera angle has changed), as the scene of a discussion between the journalist and a work colleague:
The work colleague is the former boyfriend of the woman with the suitcase. We see him tracing on a map his way to the building she had arrived at. Immediately afterwards, the journalist plots on the same map some locations associated with Lenin, including that apartment building:
With the eventual implication of the journalist in the fiction around the woman, the documenting of Lenin's years in Geneva is abandoned. Rather, the film ends on alternative fictional modes - song and slapstick:
The story of Lola is little more than that of the preparations made by its male protagonist, Roland, to leave Nantes. This story is framed by the return to Nantes of Michel, father of Lola’s child. He has been seven years on a South Pacific island, Matareva, as if he has arrived in Demy’s film from Mark Robson’s 1953 Return to Paradise (which Roland goes to see at a cinema in Nantes in the course of the film). Michel’s arrival is the counterweight to the departure not only of Roland but also of the little Cécile (who has run off to Cherbourg), of Frankie and the other sailors, heading back via Cherbourg to the U.S., and of Lola and her son, who are leaving for Marseille. Of all these only Roland is associated with maps. He passes a map of France as he leaves his place of work, after having been fired. In his room he studies closely a map of the ‘Five Parts of the World’, and the man who offers him louche employment as a courrier (flying from Amsterdam to South Africa) explains the itinerary by pointing to a map.
The film doesn't tend to use maps to speak of the city's division into zones, though here Major Calloway is pointing to the International Zone as a possible meeting place with Harry Lime.
The broad lines marking out the divisions of the city on this map are a recurrent backdrop to encounters in this room, even when the lighting shifts into noir mode:
There are other maps in Major Calloway's office, and also in the Russian Liaison Officer's room across the corridor: