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Birds

Netherlands, 1968 (MIFF 1971, Programme 37)

Director: Frans Zwartjes

A girl lies with legs splayed on a couch. She dangles a paper bird on the end of a piece of string.

The camera rocks and slides as if in a trance, and the white shape, fluttering to the raucous twitter of birds on a soundtrack, conveys the sexual frustration behind the girl's impassive face.

Zwartjes has built an hermetic world of guilt and disgust, but to ridicule his work implies a failure to recognise the deep currents of frustration and fantasy that run in human nature. At very least, these films are notable experiments with sound and the persistence of vision, combining elements of surrealism and expressionism into an original style that should not be ignored.

Peter Cowie, International Film Guide 1971

FIPRESCI Prize, Oberhausen

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