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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

See also...

Eating

Netherlands, 1968
Loud licking alternates continually with a four-note clarion call, while the camera records a kinky eat-in, with three bare bosomed girls, one wearing a bearded mask, tasting food that is simultaneou… More »

Seats Two

Netherlands, 1970
Two girls nestle beside each other on a couch and try desperately to conceal their mutual craving. Sexuality is suggested through the weird rhythm of the film's editing and the tactile quality of the… More »

Behind our Walls

Netherlands, 1971
Frans Zwartjes' two visions of womanhood in Behind Your Walls have all the febrile frustration associated with his previous work. Flesh looks like crisp paper about to be despoiled, a torpid heat red… More »

Through the Garden

Netherlands, 1971
A symbolic short by the leading Dutch experimental film maker, Franz Zwartjes. The action takes place in a garden where a woman tries to find a place for a doll. There is no normal development of the… More »

Reversals

Netherlands, 1972
Four short experiments in animation, using constantly shifting perspectives. The makers of the films are pupils of Frans Zwartjes, Holland's leading experimental filmmaker. ... More »

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