7.2/10
1,183
8 user 4 critic

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 »

Director:

Man Ray

Writer:

Robert Desnos (poem)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kiki of Montparnasse Kiki of Montparnasse ... Une femme (as Alice 'Kiki' Prin)
André de la Rivière André de la Rivière ... Un homme
Robert Desnos 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Romance

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Details

Country:

France

Release Date:

20 November 1999 (Greece) See more »

Also Known As:

Estrela do Mar See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Connections

Referenced in Escombros (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Did he say 'mer' or 'merde'?

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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