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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...

Opening Speech

Ostensibly, Norman McLaren intends to welcome the audience, but is frustrated by the microphone which exhibits surprising temper, reluctance and guile. ... More »

V For Victory

A 'film poster' publicising a wartime government bond campaign, using the technique of drawing with pen and ink directly on 35mm film. ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

Short and Suite

The film is an expression of a mood, a heady recollection of an evening on the town rendered in rhythmic flights of light and colour. The alternation of the music's mood - gay or sad - is echoed by ... More »

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