15 April 2017 | filmart-2
Mixed parentage, confused product
As in so many cases of international co-production, or a director hoisted out of his own zone, the result is a mess. Production values are high but nothing makes sense. There is no Black Room as in the French title, and no effective use or depiction of the process of Daguerreotype as in the English. Camera history fans (who are numerous) will be misled by that title, and disappointed in the script's failure to use a fascinating technical story. Evidently the director wrote his own script, often a mistake. With so many story threads (none followed effectively) this looks like intended for a miniseries. Seven people are credited as producers of some kind: evidently they could not agree on what this film was to be? The actors zomb their way through, none connecting with the others, all looking as confused about the goings-on as the audience is. One tiny scene had some zing: an older woman materialises (unexplained) from the past and disappears into where is not stated. It did have frisson. Strangely, that actor is not credited in IMDb. The ghost stuff otherwise is completely uninteresting. Are the costumes and decor impeccable? No doubt, but for what result? The camera glides endlessly but to no effect.