If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pas de Deux pt deux


View entire film:

A thirteen minute live action short subject filmed by Norman McLaren of the National Film Board of Canada. It had been nominated for an Oscar, and won a BAFTA, the year before, in 1968. The film was entitled 'Pas de deux'.

The film’s subject is simply two ballet dancers, photographed on high contrast black and white stock, on a bare stage, with harsh side lighting.

It was in its post production manipulation, however, that the film became truly memorable. McLaren passed the original image through an optical printer, up to eleven times at some places, to produce a beautiful stroboscopic image of movement.

The film tells the story of a female Narcissus who is completely self -involved until a young man appears to win her attention. It is a plea that we must look outside ourselves and love others, the same theme which underlay McLaren’s Oscar winning 1952 short feature, Neighbours.

If you have ever seen it before, you will remember this film. If you have not seen it before, it is well worth the expenditure of time, regardless of whether you do, or do not, enjoy ballet.

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