Skimming through Maurice Bessy's Histoire du cinéma en 1000 images (Hachette 1962) I was very surprised to come across the photograph of Musidora, above left. Not so much because she is naked - she reputedly often received guests at her home in that manner - but because I couldn't imagine what film it could be in which she appeared thus.
If you like, yes, cinema is an art. But in that case it is the first, incomparably first in aesthetic quality and force, first because it is the only art that is mechanical, automobile. It absorbs women, cars, pain, kisses and cavalcades: having chewed up all this in its workings, and digested it with chemical juices, it delivers, like amber from pine trees, photogénie, a beauty that belongs to the cinema alone.
The terms photogénie and photogénique recur constantly in the journal's film reviews, qualifying not only actors (both male and female) but also spaces, objects and animals, actions and gestures, scenes and plots.
Under the heading 'Cinéa makes films with its readers', the photogénie competition invites subscribers to send in a photograph. The 25 most photogenic readers are guaranteed a role in the first Cinéa film production. (I have no idea if such a film was ever made.)
The nude photo is certainly not her only appearance in Cinéa. As well as photographic portraits and film stills there are caricatures, including two by her own hand: