One More Example Of A Puzzling Surrealistic Images By Which Film Directors Characterize The Events In The Characters’ Internal World

An unexpected gift for Philippe – the son of a dying woman is like a refreshing pill helping him to consume the world and continue to exist for the sake of existing. He likes only those impressions from life which help him support his spirit. But on this day after he visited his mother at the hospital and learned from the doctor about her sudden terminal illness and that she will not live for much longer, indeed, has very short time left, Philippe’s task of neutralizing the negative impressions from the world became much more difficult. The habitual injections of sexual satisfaction with which he supported his sexually happy marriage weren’t effective. Sex was good as always, but silent burden on his chest didn’t go away.

Philippe continues to stay in bed although it’s time to get up, but something made him inert. The composition of the shot includes double representation of the reality – the real space of the bedroom and the reflection of bed in the big mirror help the director to create confusion in the perception of what’s going on with personage of his film and the world – in the viewers and Philippe himself. Here, we notice a little “miracle” – while lying on the bed and being reflected in the mirror Philippe, as if, got strange awkward feminine breasts. But the presence of the mirror emphasizes not just the double reality of two worlds – everyday life (Philippe’s habitual abode) and mortality of human life.

Philippe started to feel, as though he himself is dying, that he is doomed to die like his mother. More, death of his mother made him feel that he is part of his mother’s body. He was always the alive part of his mother’s body but now he felt that he is, as if, the dying part her dying/dead body.

Unexpectedly and bizarrely he started to feel that he has feminine breasts in absurd addition to his own. Perhaps, it’s Philippe’s unconscious memory of his mother nurturing him during infancy, but also it can be play of light or some kind of distortion in the glass mirror. But, rather, it’s the effect of several determinants – Philippe’s depressed feeling about himself, connected with his mother’s condition, his unconscious memory of her feeding him and her glorious breasts reaching its end. Sacredness is mortal but its meaning is immortal.

The little miracle in the mirror gives Maurice Pialat the chance to show that to ignore the realities of life, which includes death and not to think about it is not adequate nor rational behavior leading to our greedy ridden obsession with appropriation of power and wealth at all costs – our ultimate psychological defense against our mortality.

Posted on Jan 5, 2013 – Maurice Pialat’s “Mouth Agape/The Slack-Jawed Mug” (1974) – Mouth Agape as a Metaphor of a Conformist (Cognitively Passive) Position in Life by Acting-Out Politics

Posted on Feb 2 2015 – “The Mouth Agape/The Slack-Jawed Mug” (1974) by Maurice Pialat by Acting-Out Politics