Psychological narrative avantgarde film about a wealthy young businessman who consecutively falls in love with a classy English woman (Pearl), a Russian sculptress (Athalia), and a naive ... See full summary »
One of the first feminist movies, The Smiling Madame Beudet is the story of an intelligent woman trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband is used to playing a stupid practical joke in ... See full summary »
Two people stand on a road, out of focus. Seen distorted through a glass, they retire upstairs to a bedroom where she undresses. He says, "Adieu." Images: the beautiful girl, a starfish in ... See full summary »
Kiki of Montparnasse,
André de la Rivière,
A couple is brutally murdered in the working-class district of Paris. Later on, the narrative follows the lives of their two daughters, both in love with a Parisian thug and leading them to separate ways.
In a village in Brittany, a young maid and an old woman are spinning while the wind blows threateningly outdoors. In spite of the bad omen, the young maid's boyfriend decides to sail away. ... See full summary »
A pulsing, kaleidoscope of images set to an energetic soundtrack. A young women swings in a garden; a woman's face smiles. The rest is spinning cylinders, pistons, gears and turbines, ... See full summary »
A long series of unrelated images, revolving, often distorted: lights, flowers, nails. A lightboard appears from time to time carrying the news of the day. Then, an eye. A woman in a car ... See full summary »
A spiral design spins dizzily. It's replaced by a spinning disk. These two continue in perfect alternation until the end: a spiral design, a disk. Each disk is labelled and can be read as ... See full summary »
Psychological narrative avantgarde film about a wealthy young businessman who consecutively falls in love with a classy English woman (Pearl), a Russian sculptress (Athalia), and a naive working-class girl (Lucie). Overpowered by weakness, the coward sidesteps the obligations that love affairs impose: rather than living up to his dates he takes his sports-car from an ultra-modern garage and speeds to the fashionable beaches of Deauville. On his way, he is fatally hit by a descending swallow. The film is divided into three segments each of which consists of events the woman experienced. These sequences are embedded in scenes in which each of the three women is telling and casting her mind back to her own love affair. Thus, present, future and past merge and cannot be distinguished clearly. The intertwinement of several layers of time experience, recollection, telling and showing have been regarded as a source of inspiration of Alain Resnais and this film prefigures his "L'Année ... Written by
Hans Winter <email@example.com>
I saw this short on a Kino DVD compilation ("Avant-garde: Experimental Cinema of the 1920s and 30s"), which contained glowing reviews claiming it was one of the best experimental films ever made. Unfortunately, the movie didn't really work for me, because I could never feel involved with any of the characters, and the imagery didn't interest me enough to make up for it. Perhaps I just don't know enough about the development of film to appreciate this one's originality? I was much more impressed by some of the other shorts on the same DVD, such as "Ménilmontant" and "La Coquille et Le Clergyman". I do remember a few minor moments in "La Glace" that I liked, but they were brief. Generally, I thought that the story was too underwritten, and the way the actors were made-up and shot only increased the distance I felt from them. The fact that the protagonist seemed like kind of a jerk didn't really help. The ending (which I won't reveal) has been particularly celebrated, but since its power depends on the viewer's feelings about the hero, it didn't mean much to me. (It also seemed dependent on an inexplicable action by a passing bird--someone please explain to me if I misunderstood that part.)
Students of editing might find more to like in this film than I did.
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