Part essay, part film poem, Magic Mirror re-stages with astonishing force Claude Cahun’s surrealist black and white photographs and text into a series of vivantes tableaux.
This film was screened at The Dream That Kicks back in 2013, it deserves a second look.
The film slowly evolves with precision and tension, the splitting of identity appears as a double which persists throughout; superimposition, shadow, imprints in sand, reflections in water, mirror and distorting glass. Three characters swapping identities between gender, age and the inanimate. Voices separate: different voices, which at times overlap, and at times are in conversation; these are extracts from Cahun’s book Aveux Non Avenus (Confessions Cut Off).
From act to act, each self-contained drama proceeds like series of Noh theatre pieces, the total effect is less that of a present action than of a simile or metaphor made visual, the full comprehension of which stays just out of reach.
The images and words remain echoing, reflecting and refracting in the mind long after the film has finished.
(Text by Greg Pope)
… the camera beat, the click of the shutter, runs into the rhythm of the sentence, the full stop. And so the motion of the camera pan turns into that of a sentence. She [Cahun] plays with the grammar of the image, with the camera and the word.
About the screening
The Dream That Kicks is Cinemateket's screening concept for art film, avant-garde film and video art, curated by Greg Pope - artist, lecturer at KHiO and former Cinemateket engineer.
Due to renovations, the Cinematheque in Oslo is temporarily closed and arranges film screenings at Kunstnernes Hus Cinema.