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Les Mystères du château de Dé Date: Tuesday 07 December, 2004
Summary:
1926 Art / Fantasy Réalisation: Man Ray
Content:
Réalisation: Man Ray
Scénario: Man Ray
Photo: Jacques-André Boiffard et Man Ray
Distribution: Georges Auric, Le Comte de Beaumont, Le Vicomte de Noailles, Marie-Laure de Noailles
Durée: 26 min; NB, muet
Aka: The Mysteries of the Chateau de De
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The wooden hands of a mannequin hold a pair of dice. "A throw of dice will never abolish chance"... At St Bernard, a modern villa stands amidst the runs of an ancient castle. Far away, in Paris, two men wearing stocking masks throw dice and decide to set out on their journey. They drive across open French countryside and arrive at the villa. The building is totally deserted... Yet, in a forgotten corner, four young people, also wearing stocking masks, are throwing dice. They decide to play in the swimming pool. They amuse themselves for what seems like an eternity but they are soon gone. Are these merely echoes of the past? The next day, a man and a woman arrive in the deserted villa. They find the dice and decide to stay. They become statues...
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The most well-known film from the great surrealist artist Man Ray, Les Mystères du château de Dé is a hauntingly evocative poem to the transitory nature of life and a reminder of the role that chance plays in the grand scheme of things. The film includes some memorable surrealist touches (including the opening shot of the dice in the mannequin's hands and the fact that everyone in the film wears a stocking mask) and some thought-provoking poetic observations. Often perplexing, Mystères du château de Dé is also a profoundly spiritual work, in which the spectator is as much a partipant as the masked actors.
The film was shot mainly in the villa of the Vincomte de Noailles, who also financed the film. De Noailles was a keen supporter of avant-garde artists of the 1920s, sponsoring the work of, amongst others, Jean Cocteau and Luis Buñuel, as well as Man Ray.

© James Travers 2002

 
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