The Three-Sided Mirror (Epstein, 1927)

The Three-Sided Mirror (Jean Epstein, 1927)

Three women wanting love so desperately, and all for different reasons, fall victim to the same man and his deception. His success, his looks, and his phony romanticism become a sticky web of captivating allure and undeserved regret (illustrated perfectly by Epstein’s frantic yet poetic editing style). Each woman is of a sympathetic nature and more is said about his haunting effect on their lives during scenes where they are alone than when actually together. The first woman weeps as she tells the story of his spotty affection and unfaithfulness; the second turns from a strong independent woman prior to his arrival to a pathetic needy mess; the third is giddily anticipating his arrival in a heartbreakingly naive way. He makes his rounds, one by one, playing a sick game of indifference towards their feelings, fooling everyone along the way. It’s a haunting portrayal of hallucinated invincibility, and one I will not soon forget.  9/10

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