7.1/10
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6 user 3 critic

La glace à trois faces (1927)

Psychological narrative avantgarde film about a wealthy young businessman who consecutively falls in love with a classy English woman (Pearl), a Russian sculptress (Athalia), and a naive ... See full summary »

Director:

Jean Epstein

Writers:

Jean Epstein (adaptation), Paul Morand (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jeanne Helbling ... Lucie
Suzy Pierson Suzy Pierson ... Athalia
Olga Day Olga Day ... Pearl
Raymond Guérin-Catelain Raymond Guérin-Catelain ... Le Soupirant (as Raymond Guerin)
Jean Garat Jean Garat ... (as Paul Garat)
René Ferté ... L'Homme (as Rene Ferte)
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Storyline

Psychological narrative avantgarde film about a wealthy young businessman who consecutively falls in love with a classy English woman (Pearl), a Russian sculptress (Athalia), and a naive working-class girl (Lucie). Overpowered by weakness, the coward sidesteps the obligations that love affairs impose: rather than living up to his dates he takes his sports-car from an ultra-modern garage and speeds to the fashionable beaches of Deauville. On his way, he is fatally hit by a descending swallow. The film is divided into three segments each of which consists of events the woman experienced. These sequences are embedded in scenes in which each of the three women is telling and casting her mind back to her own love affair. Thus, present, future and past merge and cannot be distinguished clearly. The intertwinement of several layers of time experience, recollection, telling and showing have been regarded as a source of inspiration of Alain Resnais and this film prefigures his "L'Année ... Written by Hans Winter <hwinter@xs4all.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

Country:

France

Also Known As:

Der dreiflügelige Spiegel See more »

Filming Locations:

L'Isle-Adam, Val-d'Oise, France See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Films Jean Epstein See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
perhaps overrated
3 July 2006 | by claudecatSee all my reviews

I saw this short on a Kino DVD compilation ("Avant-garde: Experimental Cinema of the 1920s and 30s"), which contained glowing reviews claiming it was one of the best experimental films ever made. Unfortunately, the movie didn't really work for me, because I could never feel involved with any of the characters, and the imagery didn't interest me enough to make up for it. Perhaps I just don't know enough about the development of film to appreciate this one's originality? I was much more impressed by some of the other shorts on the same DVD, such as "Ménilmontant" and "La Coquille et Le Clergyman". I do remember a few minor moments in "La Glace" that I liked, but they were brief. Generally, I thought that the story was too underwritten, and the way the actors were made-up and shot only increased the distance I felt from them. The fact that the protagonist seemed like kind of a jerk didn't really help. The ending (which I won't reveal) has been particularly celebrated, but since its power depends on the viewer's feelings about the hero, it didn't mean much to me. (It also seemed dependent on an inexplicable action by a passing bird--someone please explain to me if I misunderstood that part.)

Students of editing might find more to like in this film than I did.


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