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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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Cast

Cast overview:
Kiki of Montparnasse ...
Une femme (as Alice [Kiki] Prin)
André de la Rivière ...
Un homme
Robert Desnos ...
Un autre homme
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Storyline

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

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20 November 1999 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

Estrela do Mar  »

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1.33 : 1
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Referenced in Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinémathèque (2004) See more »

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THE STARFISH {Short} (Man Ray, 1928) **1/2
15 January 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This Man Ray short has a modicum of plot – or, at least, its imagery is essentially related. A woman, possibly a prostitute, picks up a client but, when she undresses, he unaccountably gives her the brush-off! He had 'sung' the woman's praises in the intertitles – but it appears that he admires beautiful things in general and, indeed, he eventually becomes infatuated with a starfish! The woman, scorned, attacks the sea- creature with a knife...

It is a typical example of experimental cinema from this era, which also unleashed the likes of Germaine Dulac's THE SEASHELL AND THE CLERGYMAN (1928; the main reason I picked up this Kino DVD collection in the first place!) – with a similar aquatic reference, no less! – and the Luis Buñuel/Salvador Dali collaboration UN CHIEN ANDALOU (1929), both of which also boasted overtones of eroticism and violence. Even so, the most notable effect here is the frequent distortion of the image, as if it was being shot through stained-glass windows!


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