Mannequin hands hold a pair of dice. A castle is perched on a hilltop. Below it, a posh, modern villa. Meanwhile, far from Paris, two men with masked faces play dice in a bar. They decide ... See full summary »
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Mannequin hands hold a pair of dice. A castle is perched on a hilltop. Below it, a posh, modern villa. Meanwhile, far from Paris, two men with masked faces play dice in a bar. They decide to drive to Paris. Country roads, hills, fences. The posh "chateau" appears again: meticulous garden, fancy interior, odd sculptures. And at home? "No one, NO ONE." For the next two days, masked figures play dice, frolic by the pool, perform exercises with a ball. Two new figures arrive. Masked. They search and find the dice. They dance. Mannequin hands hold a pair of dice. Written by
If you see this playing at an art gallery somewhere, perhaps at a Man Ray exhibition, you will probably be seriously underwhelmed. There are some good images in it, and it is interesting to say the least. Knowing only a little French, however, and lacking subtitles for the print the art gallery was showing, made sure we got less out of it than we could have. It begins with evocative images of people with stockings covering their heads and hands, looking like mannequins, rolling a big dice, and arguing over whether they should "go," to an abstract destination which we're told by our programs is the Vicompte de Noialles's villa. Interesting intentionally shaky camera work on car trip there, then interesting images slow panning in garden of villa. Then strange stuff starts to happen. The mannequins appear again, except now there are more of them, and they start tossing a ball to one another. They play other games too - climbing on some gymnastics equipment, which appears, rolling more dice, lying on the floor, and eventually swimming (where a few decent jokes appear:
Title card: "The juggler"
Scene of woman with head and arms underwater trying to juggle balls underwater.
The thing which defined this short for me was how the title cards would pop up and declare these philosophical statements which seemed (with my little French) to have little to do with the action which then followed, of dancing, swimming, playing in the villa. I think the joke was that they weren't saying anything directly to do with what was happening, but what they did do was provide a meaning for the strange goings on in the film, a sort of reference point. They invited you to read into the rather abstract happenings these grande philosophical statements which kept popping up. Most interesting thing about it probably.
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