20 April 2011 | lor_
OK, if padded, experimental feature
Avant-garde or experimental cinema is supposed to knock your socks off -as witness the granddaddy of them all, Bunuel's UN CHIEN D'ANDALOU. This well-executed feature film just kind of lays there, but is of interest nonetheless.
My own interest was the participation, as cinematographer and editor while still a teenager, of Jean-Gabriel Albicocco, a forgotten filmmaker who I have long considered the most innovative French director of the '60s (since I saw the Leacock-Pennebaker release of his masterpiece THE WANDERER over 40 years ago). His work here is more pedestrian.
The actual writer-director is Marc'o, who I file under G (for his real surname Guillaumin), fortunate enough to win the favor and backing of Jean Cocteau with this feature, listed as "presented by Jean Cocteau" at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival.
It opens with a complex collage shot, and what follows is stream-of-consciousness imagery meant to represent thoughts running through (and coalescing) in the protagonist's mind.
Filmed in the Cannes environs, much of the hour-plus running time is repetitious shots, often collages and stills, but also rather boring footage of people on the beach. A recurring image of a well-built blonde girl sunbathing there sure fits the Cannes locale. Most interesting symbol is a large cocoon in the sand which contains our hero.
Lens-smeared shots with only an oval in the middle of the frame visible presage Albicocco's incredible '60s experiments in visual distortion, courtesy of his genius cinematographer dad Quinto Albicocco. J-G Albicocco was born in Cannes, evidently helpful in getting him this youthful gig.