french films > The Three-Sided Mirror

The Three-Sided Mirror

The Three-Sided Mirror

cast: Olga Day, Suzy Pierson, René Ferté, Raymond Guérin-Catelain

year: 1927

colour: no


director: Jean Epstein

runtime: 40

Drama 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 (qv) and this film prefigures his "L'Année dernière à Mariënbad" (qv) to a certain extent


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