6.3/10
128
2 user 3 critic

8 X 8: A Chess Sonata in 8 Movements (1957)

Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Coriolan (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Cocteau, Josette Day, Henri Filipacchi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Political intrigue and psychological drama run parallel. The queen is in seclusion, veiling her face for the ten years since her husband's assassination, longing to join him in death. ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Edwige Feuillère, Silvia Monfort, Jean Marais
Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Poet looks back over his life and work, recalling his inspirations and obsessions.

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Cocteau, Françoise Arnoul, Claudine Auger
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Michel, who's 22, tells his parents he is in love, his mother Yvonne is distraught, believing she will lose his love (which is the center of her life), and his father Georges is ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Yvonne de Bray
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Jean Cocteau
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young artist draws a face at a canvas on his easel. Suddenly the mouth on the drawing comes into life and starts talking. The artist tries to wipe it away with his hand, but when he looks... See full summary »

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Enrique Rivero, Elizabeth Lee Miller, Pauline Carton
Orpheus (1950)
Fantasy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Orphee is a poet who becomes obsessed with Death (the Princess). They fall in love. Orphee's wife, Eurydice, is killed by the Princess' henchmen and Orphee goes after her into the ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Marais, François Périer, María Casares
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After learning how to look inside himself, a poetic bum sells people vivid dreams.

Director: Hans Richter
Stars: Jack Bittner, Libby Holman, Josh White
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Short about Mrs. Weisweiller's Villa in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferat, on Côte d'Azur, which was decorated by Jean Cocteau.

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Cocteau, Edouard Dermithe, Francine Weisweiller
Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément
Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In a snowball fight between schoolboys the handsome Dargelos hits the chest of Paul, who drops unconscious to the ground. Paul has a deep affection for Dargelos, and later denies that there... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Nicole Stéphane, Edouard Dermithe, Renée Cosima
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Cocteau
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Jean Arp
Ceal Bryson
Alexander Calder
Willem de Vogel
Marcel Duchamp
Dorothea Ernst
Max Ernst
Richard Hulsenbeck
Frederick Kiesler ...
Minotaur
Julien Lary
Julien Levy
Jaqueline Matisse
Eugene Pellegrini
Edit

Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Music

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 March 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

8 X 8  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sequences shot inside the drained oval swimming pool at the Connecticut mansion of Libby Holman in 1953. See more »

Connections

Featured in Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Fool's mate.
17 January 2006 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

The title '8x8' refers to a chessboard: an order-8 square grid. The cast list of this film will look very appetising indeed to anyone who is interested in art of the mid-20th century, as several important artists participated in this movie and appear on screen. But it pains me to report that '8x8' is basically a home movie. Several people who made significant achievements in painting (Arp), sculpture (Calder) or collage (Ernst) decided to lark about with a movie camera, and this short film is the result. Sadly, the talents these people exhibited in other media do not translate to this amateurish film.

There is ostensibly a theme relating to chess, but you'd barely know it from most of what's going on here. Max Ernst follows his wife Dorothea through the streets of lower Manhattan: apparently the Ernsts are meant to be chessmen, and the grid of the city streets is a chessboard, or some such. Jean Cocteau, whose sexual ambiguity has shown up more intelligently elsewhere in his work, essays here the role of a pawn who (we all saw it coming) turns into a queen. We also see some footage of Alexander Calder assembling a mobile and setting it in motion: this would be useful footage for a documentary on Calder, but here its meaning is uncertain.

The participants really do seem to be making this up as they go along ... which wouldn't be so bad, if it actually got somewhere. A chess match has an objective and an endgame, but this movie lacks any meaning. At one point, we see two people chasing some pieces of paper along a windswept beach. I couldn't help thinking that those pages were this movie's script, which the actors are desperately trying to retrieve. Elsewhere, some guy pretends to be a minotaur; I'm sure that the only reason he was included in this movie was so he could strip off and show his muscular physique. Stop drooling, Cocteau!

There's some avant-gardish music by John Latoche and Oscar Brand, which I found pleasant. All in all, I'll rate this melange about 4 out of 10. Several people in this film created brilliant art, but you wouldn't know it from what's on evidence here. This very amateurish home movie is stale, mate.


12 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?