An experimental masterpiece that truly captures the experience of dream in all its associative richness. The surreal imagery and circular logic are especially striking, but what raises the piece to something extraordinary is the combination of the cinematography with Deren's physicality: the grace of her movement and the way the energy of her footsteps seems to spring directly from the screen. Entrancing.
A recursive, oneiric short, (from 1943!) where the domestic objects take on an onimous and/or ungraspable form...to analyze this would be to demystify it, so i'll just tip my hat to the makers and walk on, occasionally looking back and shaking my head in awe (check out Deren's explorations of the body in movement, such as her "Meditation on Violence"...
Truly incredible - it really deserves its legendary status. One of the most memorable, dreamily surreal, and disorienting experiences even to this day. There aren't many films conveying the weird, uneasy feeling of a reoccurring dream or, perhaps, a nightmare. Beautifully shot with some impressive camerawork, choice of angles, use of shadows and reflections. Absolutely worth spending the 14 minute running time.
An impressive and imaginative film very well structured, like piece of visual music. Like a Lynch film it evokes a dream world of repetitions and duplications within a tightly choreographed structure of light, shadow and movement. Very ambitious for a ‘home movie.’ It has a particularly timeless quality. (I wish they’d blown the dust off the lens.)
Undoubtedly an important and visually innovative film. The poetry is there and the disorienting camera enhances the effect of fragmentation in the splinters of the subconscious (effectively handled in the staircase & the mirror/seashore shots). Yet this is no Cocteau, Bunuel, Clair, Alexandrov. The surreal tricks lack semantic density, considering how the latter filmmakers enlisted reality in order to demolish it.
I often find that when I finally get around to seeing something that has so thoroughly influenced subsequent art that I have already engaged with that I only experience the original piece at an intellectual level. As in, "Oh, I can see why this became so influential" rather than, "Oh, damn, this really moves me." This was an exception. While I was not blown away, I felt I was watching it rather than studying it.
This movie was a waste of film. I had to read the summary to get better understanding of what I was watching. It did not help that the film was silent. Sound and music help give tone and mood to a film which this film lacks. There are so many dramatic moments which are ruined but the sheer silents of the film. I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone, it would be a simple waste of time and memory.