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A Song of Love (1950)

Un chant d'amour (original title)
Not Rated | | Short, Fantasy, Romance | 1950 (France)
Two prisoners in complete isolation, separated by the thick brick walls, and desperately in need of human contact, devise a most unusual kind of communication.

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Bravo ... Older Prisoner (uncredited)
Jean Genet ... Prisoner in Duo Fantasy (uncredited)
Java ... Nude Prisoner / Hand swinging the blossom (uncredited)
Coco Le Martiniquais ... Black Prisoner (uncredited)
André Reybaz ... Guard. (uncredited)
Lucien Sénémaud ... Younger Prisoner (uncredited)
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Storyline

Inmates in a French prison are attempting to fulfill their sexual and emotional needs under the confines of their individual cells. Two inmates in particular, who are in adjacent cells, try to make that connection to the other, both physical and emotional, in whatever way they can. In their current attempt to do so, they are so caught up in the fulfillment they receive of that connection that they fail to notice that a voyeuristic guard has been watching them through the small peep holes in their otherwise solid cell doors. The guard was tipped to the activity by one of the two men trying to pass a bouquet of wild flowers to the other via their barred cell windows. The guard confronts one of the inmates. Although their encounter is primarily violently physical, each man copes with the situation by fantasizing about what is truly in his heart. Written by Huggo

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Genres:

Short | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1950 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Song of Love  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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| (re-release)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally made for distribution in limited edition prints for private collectors, there were three attempts to show the film: in 1954, in a cut version at the French Cinémathèque Française; in 1964, by Jonas Mekas with a smuggled copy for private showings - eventually frustrated by the police; and in 1966, by Saul Landau in two sessions in Los Angeles, California - the first at an Ancient Church, then San Francisco Mime Troupe's headquarter, Mission District, and the second at the Sheraton Palace Hotel - under police pressure and refusals from theater owners to rent them. The LA showings to capacity crowded theaters ended up in a notable court case that went to a 5-4 vote in the US Supreme Court to ban the film on obscenity reasons. The film was shown only in 1972, in Denmark. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gefängnisbilder (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a gay old time...
7 August 2017 | by See all my reviews

...of course, that depends on what definition of "gay" you're using. In terms of "happiness", this film falls quite flat (although there is a sense of hope in the short's very final moments, specifically the second to last shot), however in terms of homosexuality, this avant garde masterpiece is quite strong. A landmark of queer cinema, "A Song of Love" is a beautiful film no matter what your sexuality (as long as you have at least a mild tolerance for penis imagery), one that conveys the powers of passion like few films ever have. It expresses ones most inner feelings and desires in a fashion that is abstract, but enjoyable and relatable. I'm not gay myself, but I can certainly identify with this film to an extent, it is like a visual representation of the great emotional toll love can have on a person, and it's brilliantly made. The cinematography, acting, lighting, camera-work, editing, and so on are all top notch, and as long as you can get into the film's experimental style, you're most likely to relish in its erotic and emotional glories.


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