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The Lamp (1959)
"Lampa" (original title)

 -  Short  -  November 1988 (Italy)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 791 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 3 critic

In waning winter light, a doll maker works in his shop, a kerosene lamp beside him, a jumble of dolls and doll parts, whole and broken, surrounding him. There are noises, too: a cuckoo ... See full summary »

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Title: The Lamp (1959)

The Lamp (1959) on IMDb 6.6/10

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A passer-by (uncredited)
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Storyline

In waning winter light, a doll maker works in his shop, a kerosene lamp beside him, a jumble of dolls and doll parts, whole and broken, surrounding him. There are noises, too: a cuckoo clock chirps the workday's end. The artisan completes a repair and leaves, shuttering the shop from outside. Back inside, whispering begins. What else is in store for the shop's seemingly lifeless denizens? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short

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November 1988 (Italy)  »

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The Lamp  »

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Trivia

Roman Polanski does not like this short film and is said to omit it from his filmography. See more »

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Referenced in L'armadio (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Exquisitely lit.
11 April 2004 | by (Oz) – See all my reviews

Can be found on the Criterion Knife in the Water DVD.

One of the most impressive Polanski shorts. I can't believe how exquisite these look, this, Meurtertwo, Teeth Smile in particular. Shot in such exquisite light, these shorts contain usually one episode, one vibrant, yet dark and dizzying moment. Lampa, probably my favourite after Meurtertwo and Two Men and a Wardrobe (which has a plot, surrealist cynicism and is hilarious), is about a dollmaker's shop. There is no dialogue, it consists simply of Polanski's camera caressing the room, lingering over the faces of the broken dolls, then focussing on the dollmaker putting some eyes and hair onto a doll's head. We feel strongly that there is something perverse about the way the dollmaker reaches inside the head of the doll, and that the doll stands for a child. Which is what makes what happens afterwards so disturbing.

Polanski shorts give you one striking little episode, without dialogue, of exquisitely lit and filmed cinematic gold.


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