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 »
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
I've seen this one a few times in the hope of "getting it" but it becomes more and more mysterious with repeated viewings. It's no wonder, the movie is surreal and like the more famous (or infamous) Un Chien Andalou it supports different interpretations or none at all if you don't want to give it. Unlike Bunuel's movies from the same period, L'etoile de mer is poetic the shots are filmed out of focus making large parts of the film seem to be caught up in glass. Just like Un Chien Andalou, the "subject" seems to be something related to unfulfilled desire, frustrated love and a love triangle. The beautiful Kiki de Montparnasse who was Man Ray's muse (he used her in a series of photographs in the 20's) is the representation of beauty. Her beauty is either of glass, or of fire and thus unattainable by the male character who tries but cannot have her. This perspective on the woman's beauty is what makes him eventually loose her for good in favor of another man. I hope this is O.K as far as interpretations go, but you can just watch it and enjoy the beautiful imagery and techniques, the movie is overtly experimental and it has some ideas that make it quite modern for its time. And then again, given that "its time" was a period when there was no gap between cinema and art one wanders what is wrong with cinema today, when we either have blockbusters or "artsy flicks" that try to look fancy but lack a great deal of substance.
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