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Daydreams (1915)

Gryozy (original title)
Sergei's beloved wife Yelena has passed away, and the bereaved husband is inconsolable. He remains obsessed with pictures of Yelena and with a braid of her hair that he has saved. One day, ... See full summary »

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(after: "Bruges-la-Morte"),
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Cast

Cast overview:
Alexander Wyrubow ...
Sergei Nikolaevich Nedelin
F. Werchowzewa ...
Yelena, his wife
Viktor Arens ...
Solski, a painter
N. Tschernobajewa ...
Tina Wlarskaja, an actress
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Storyline

Sergei's beloved wife Yelena has passed away, and the bereaved husband is inconsolable. He remains obsessed with pictures of Yelena and with a braid of her hair that he has saved. One day, while walking in the street, he passes by a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Yelena. He follows her to a theater where the woman, an actress named Tina, is part of an opera. After the performance, Sergei goes back stage, and he soon strikes up a friendship with Tina. But it is not long before his obsessions create severe tensions in their relationship. Written by Snow Leopard

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Plot Keywords:

murder | based on novel | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama | Short

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Release Date:

10 October 1915 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Daydreams  »

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1.33 : 1
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Connections

Referenced in Vertigo (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

The living image
7 September 2011 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

The main depiction here is obsessive desire; the recently widowed man stumbles upon a second woman who is the split image of the dead wife. She reclines across a sofa the way the wife does in a photograph he keeps, the flowing black hair - in which love is fetishized - flowing the same way.

It is a short affair, with no more than 15 camera setups and three sets. But the amount of self-referential sophistication for the time amazes.

The second woman is an actress. He discovers her on the street - where the only moving shot in the film is repeated twice, the second time reversing the flow, pulling inwards - and follows her inside a theater. On stage, a chorus of ghastly women rise up from tombs, clearly mirroring the image of the woman rising in the imaginative mind from beyond memory.

So, it is about this living image repeating, thus threatening to overwhelm the first. The man balks; when his painter friend wants, quite literally, to paint her image like he did before, consciousness begins to shatter. The mind objects at this second image, which could replenish lost love, because it clings so desperately to the first. The ending is tragic, implying karmic wheels grinding out a cycle of suffering. The image of the dead woman lying on her deathbed is repeated, except we're not quite sure anymore who of the two women she is.

Such wonderful stuff from the far dawn of cinema; fictional re-enactment suggesting a real flow of events, the reality of that flow called into question by the role of fiction, by people playing roles, acting parts; everything points to the trappings of representation. Mirrors of destructive mind, destructive mind distraught with desire and memory. Yes, Vertigo.

In the theater stage, the actress rises from her tomb with a jet of white gas; soon after, an ominous-looking finger towers above her and does he castigate or warn the apparition? We know by the end, and it was all presaged.


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