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.
One of the first feminist movies, The Smiling Madame Beudet is the story of an intelligent woman trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband is used to playing a stupid practical joke in ... See full summary »
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
This short experimental film tells the story of a man who comes to Hollywood to become a star, only to fail and be dehumanized (he is identified by the number 9314 written on his forehead),... 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
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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