Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Flying School

A few weeks ago, I posted a segment from Jean Cocteau's 1930 film, Le Sang d'un Poet, Blood of a Poet. I have been a captive of its imagery since I was a teen.
There is something so effortless in its surrealism, images that make me feel that
my attempts with paint and photoshop are so contrived. Yet, Cocteau, working in a media that he had to invent as he created made something so fresh and compelling that it loses none of its power after 80 years.
This scene, which was in the clip I posted, is The Flying School. To achieve the special "effect",  a floor becomes a wall. The instructress is laying on her side, posed to look as if she is standing besides the fireplace. The lighting completes the effect.
The little girl is laying on her back. The effect in the film is totally convincing in a very disturbingly bizarre way. What an incredible image.

1 comment:

mud_rake said...

I didn't notice that she was actually lying on a floor until you pointed it out. Until I read that I was 'convinced' that she was flying or somehow attached behind her to the wall.

Great visual effect, especially for that early time.