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The Starfish (1928)

L'étoile de mer (original title)
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 »





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Complete credited cast:
Kiki of Montparnasse ...
Une femme (as Alice 'Kiki' Prin)
André de la Rivière ...
Un homme
Robert Desnos ...
Un autre homme


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 a jar, city scenes, newspapers, tugboats. More images: starfish, the girl. "How beautiful she is." Repeatedly. He advances up the stair, knife in hand, starfish on the step. Three people stand on a road, out of focus. "How beautiful she was." "How beautiful she is." "Beautiful." Written by David Carless

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Romance




Release Date:

20 November 1999 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

Estrela do Mar  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Referenced in Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinémathèque (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

A relaxing and pleasantly visual film
18 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

More avant-garde film-making by Man Ray, this work follows a roughly impressionist quality to its film-making. Shot mostly through warped lens and (I think) prisms, we follow a rough narrative about a love triangle, or something like it, and a man obsessed yet afraid of the beauty of the woman he's attracted to.

This is another of those many films that not only asks for multiple viewings, it requires it. Every time you view it again, you see something or something else fits in so that it becomes an even larger work.

Don't worry, though... this isn't one of those hard-to-watch films that don't make any sense and you have to stick with it just to "get it." On the contrary, it's a relaxing and pleasantly visual film that works more as a treat for the eye than a lengthy condescending piece of symbolism. It's based on a poem by the great Robert Desnos, and is very poetic in that quietly beautiful way. If anything, the best part of this film is how Ray's mise-en-scene always directs the eye simply to the right part of the screen, so that almost no work is done by the spectator to just sit back and experience it. On the other hand don't go into this film if you're really tired.


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