Skip to main content

Narcissus

Canada, 1983 (MIFF 1984)

Director: Norman McLaren

Norman McLaren's 59th film, which opened the 1983 World Film Festival in Montreal, is one of the most ambitious in his long career, which started in 1933. The film is based on the Greek myth of the native youth who falls in love with his own image, and becomes the victim of excessive self love.

As in his previous dance film, "Pas De Deux', 1967, McLaren has chosen dance over animation as the more subtle vehicle for portraying human emotion. The dancers are principals from the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Cleveland Ballet, and Les Grands Ballets Canadians.

See also...

Boogie Doodle

One of the earlier of the McLaren experimental films. An abstract film, made without the use of a camera, in which "boogie" played by Albert Amnions and "doodle*' drawn by Norman McLaren combine to ... More »

Isle of the Dead

The spectral island wakes to mysterious life, flickers in a corpse &ndash: candle light and fades again into the dark. ... More »

Canon

In the canon a melody begun by one voice or instrument is echoed by another, beginning one beat or several measures later than the one before. In this film, McLaren illustrates the principle of the ... More »

Hen Hop

Geometric shapes build to the form of a hen. To the tune of old-time waltzes a hen, now a leghorn, then a Plymouth Rock, later a simple egg with feet, dances and reels. This McLaren-designed ... More »

Ballet Adagio

After the brilliant cinematic experiment of Pas de Deux, Norman McLaren once again films dancers - this time slowing down their movements to a quarter of their speed in reality. The original ... More »

Lines Vertical - Lines Horizontal

Lines in pure design — an attempt by Norman McLaren to create art interesting pattern entirely from straight lines engraved directly on plain black film. ... The effect in is of decorous ballet ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director