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 ...
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A long series of unrelated images, revolving, often distorted: lights, flowers, nails. A lightboard appears from time to time carrying the news of the day. Then, an eye. A woman in a car ... See full summary »
A pulsing, kaleidoscope of images set to an energetic soundtrack. A young women swings in a garden; a woman's face smiles. The rest is spinning cylinders, pistons, gears and turbines, ... See full summary »
A spiral design spins dizzily. It's replaced by a spinning disk. These two continue in perfect alternation until the end: a spiral design, a disk. Each disk is labelled and can be read as ... See full summary »
A couple is brutally murdered in the working-class district of Paris. Later on, the narrative follows the lives of their two daughters, both in love with a Parisian thug and leading them to separate ways.
A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.
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 »
Le Comte de Beaumont
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 always found the dilettante Man Ray and his artistic efforts to be deeply pretentious, and I've never understood why his work attracts so much attention. Apart from his Rayographs (which he invented by accident, and which are merely direct-contact photo prints), his one real contribution to culture seems to be that he was the first photographer to depict female nudity in a manner that was accepted as art rather than as porn. But surely this had to happen eventually, and there's no real reason why Ray deserves the credit. The critical reaction to Man Ray reminds me of the story about the Emperor's New Clothes.
"L'Étoile de merde" ... whoops, "de mer" ... features a lot of blurry photography and a recurring visual theme of a starfish, which is never explained. Starfishes have the fascinating ability to regenerate lost limbs -- and even to regenerate entire duplicate bodies -- but, if that has anything to do with this movie's theme, Ray neglects to say so. I was much more impressed by this movie's title cards, which (in French) manage to include rhymes, a pun ('Si belle, Cybele') and some portmanteaux.
As so often in Ray's work, there is indeed a beautiful young woman seen in this movie. Unfortunately, the photography is (largely) so blurred that we have little opportunity to appreciate her. I'll rate this mess one point out of 10.
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