A wordless film, save for a voice-over introducing us to the imagery of dreams. A shirtless young man dreams of awakening to finds photographs of a muscular sailor carrying him in his arms. He goes to a bar where the sailor from his dream displays his muscular upper torso. A gang of sailors, swinging chains, enters menacingly. He watches, smoking. They surround him and an assault begins. Surreal touches accent the dream-like qualities. A phallic firework, a flaming Christmas tree, and the burning photographs provide climax and closure as the young man, back in bed, is beside the sailor. Written by
At the 1949 Festival du Film Maudit in Biarritz, France, Jean Cocteau raved about the film, awarding it the Festival's Poetic Film Prize. See more »
[voice over narration]
In Fireworks, I released all the explosive pyrotechnics of a dream. Inflammable desires dampened by day under the cold water of consciousness are ignited that night by the libertarian matches of sleep, and burst forth in showers of shimmering incandescence. These imaginary displays provide a temporary relief.
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'Fireworks' is a violent and disturbing manifesto, a short experimental dream-movie that throws in a couple of images that are real eye-openers, and enough homoerotic weirdness to keep those eyes open. What it 'means' of course is anyone's guess. Anger 'awakes' from troubled sleep, and wanders out to get a light for his cigarette, finding instead only torture at the hands of a bunch of muscle-bound sailors. The title refers, at least superficially, to a particularly jaw-dropping episode of sexual imagery, though as with much of what goes on in the film, there are probably any number of magical and sexual allusions that are tied in with it. Beyond a handful of frames that are burned into my memory, quite possibly until the end of time, I'm not sure what there is to take away from the film when you leave- possibly it has something to say about the all-consuming power of violence, but really that's just a shot in the dark. But of course one could argue that a handful of jaw-dropping frames is enough to justify any film. The fingers- in- nostrils scene is a real wow...
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