On the surface, Delvaux's excursions into the ambiguous territory lying between fact and fantasy, past and present, may appear similar to the dry and difficult puzzles offered in the films of Resnais. But the Belgian seems a much warmer director, concerned with the emotional impulses behind dreams, combining dread and desire in both images and narrative. The result is a genuinely beautiful surrealism exploring the pains and joys of the human mind. Here the setting is a lonely country house during the First World War. Summoned to a rendezvous there by the owner, a friend serving at the front in the air force, a young pianist (Carrière) arrives to find the friend mysteriously absent and no explanation forthcoming from the enigmatically beautiful housekeeper (Karina). Fearing his friend dead, he relives their relationship, stimulated by erotic yearnings that span past (the friend's girl, Ogier) and present (the housekeeper), conjuring ghostly shadows of guilt...
Cast and crew
Roger Van Hool