Jaglom's first feature is a non-narrative fairy story of the emotional vulnerabilities of a young New York girl. Her yearning for past innocence reflects in her relations with a magician of uncertain powers, and in her interweaving fantasy around the two men who serve but can't fulfil her needs. Although a psychological reading is there for the taking, the film also offers a lament on the cinema's loss of magic. The nostalgic songs, the conspicuous presence of Orson Welles as the magician, show how much its roots lie in the past, while the film's experimental structure reveals the impossibility of trying to recapture that past. Despite the non-linear development, Jaglom's composition is sufficiently coherent, and Tuesday Weld's performance adds a real focus point. The result is sometimes indulgent, often fragile, and occasionally enchanting. With Welles as presiding spirit, it's also funnier than you might expect.
Cast and crew