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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...

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 »

Opening Speech

McLaren appears on a stage but cannot make his planned speech on account of a feisty, bad-tempered microphone that finally has him chasing it around the stage. Befitting a cartoon sketch, McLaren ... More »

A Chairy Tale

McLaren used pixillation techniques in this comedic duel between a young boy and a kitchen chair. ... More »

A Chairy Tale

Made without commentary or dialogue, this film is a simple ballet of a youth and a kitchen chair. The ensuing struggle, first for mastery and then for understanding forms the action of the film. The ... 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 »

Hen Hop

A cartoon film, hand-drawn in colour by Norman McLaren, in which a hen &ndash: and even as an egg with feet &ndash: dances to the old &ndash: time waltzes and reels of French-Canadian barn dance ... More »

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