The Blue Bird
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Deux enfants très pauvres sont jaloux des riches voisins qu ils voient par leur fenêtre. Un soir, la fée Bérylune les endort et dans le monde des rêves, ils partent à la recherche d un oiseau bleu grâce à un diamant magique. Ils y découvriront l aventure, le danger, l émerveillement, la sagesse et la beauté du partage et de l amour. Sur les traces du Magicien d Oz, ce conte halluciné et magnifique fait découvrir aux enfants d aujourd hui ce qu était le monde des rêves au début du siècle dernier. Bouleversant, triste et beau, ce film est un voyage au pays de la féerie et de la fantaisie véritable.
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But let's be honest -- for many contemporary viewers, this will be something of a slog. Some simply won't want to watch a silent film, or a film made before they were born, or a film with (to them) primitive special effects. Sadly, with so much of film history available to all these days, many viewers have increasingly narrowed their focus & miss out on treasures such as this one. But it's their loss. To see a film that celebrates beauty, wonder, and compassion -- all without a slick, glib, modernist gloss -- is a gift.
And yes, the image quality suffers where some of the film has deteriorated; and yes, it's not for every taste. Even so, it has much to offer, some of it quite surprising -- it's quite comfortable with discreet nudity, for instance, used in a strictly artistic sense -- as shown by the children of Mother Night. And some aspects anticipate 1939's "The Wizard of Ox" -- the faithful Dog is very reminiscent of the Cowardly Lion -- while the Cat is a marvel of sly, self-serving sneakiness. The symbolic souls of Fire, Water, Milk, and so forth are both beautiful & comical, depending on the figures. Even the then-popular sentimentality of so many turn-of-the-century stories is somehow charming here.
Again, this will always be something of a niche film. As with many Symbolist works, it's a clear predecessor of Surrealism -- for that aspect alone, it's well worth watching. But it also offers an almost archetypal vision of purity & idealism that we all long for at some point in our lives -- and for that reason, it remains more timely than you might think. For those who can indeed turn the diamond & see, highly recommended!
i've always loved the 'Bluebird' since youth because of it's simple sweetness. i'd have to say if i saw this as a young child i'd think it was too weird and scary. even viewing this silent version for the first time as a adult, i'd have to say much of the charm and appeal was a little lost on me. i just couldn't get over so much of the creepiness. but it did have some charm. and the kids were kind of cute once you got used to all that silent movie, caked on facial make up. and the fairy had trippy butterfly wings.
mostly this movie gives me the spookies. but it was very "otherwordly" and offbeat. even for the silent era when most films were unitentionally odd. and Touner's direction was eerie and haunting. this version is mostly for the archives and for adults. most of the "younger generation" and kids will probably just think it outdated, creepy and scary. but serious cinema fans will enjoy it.
note: too bad the original prints of this classic are lost or badly damaged. a reminder that ALL film and television should be perserved for archival purposes. it should not be left to personal opinion or pick and choose mentality. one person's garbage is another person's unforgettable experience and whatever, they always tell us something of the time period. but kudos to the woderful and inspiring KINO distribution for doing a first class job of bringing us the finest print possible of rare and neglected film masterpieces.