Short experimental Film
Les Mystères du Château de Dé (English: The Mysteries of the Chateau of Dice) is a 1929 film directed by Man Ray. It depicts a pair of travellers setting off from Paris and travelling to the Villa Noailles in Hyères. At 27 minutes the film was the longest that Man Ray directed during his career.
Originally a silent film, recent copies have been dubbed using music taken from Man Ray’s personal record collection of the time, including such recordings by Erik Satie’s and the Gymnopédies. The musical reconstruction was written by the musician Jacques Guillot.
The film was restored by the Musée National d’Art Moderne under the direction of Jean-Michel Bouhours, a film curator. Restoration of the nitrate prints by Service des Archives du film (CNC) Bois d’Arcy, video editing by Didier Coudray.
Mannequin hands hold a pair of dice. A castle is perched on a hilltop. Below it, a posh, modern villa. Meanwhile, far from Paris, two men with masked faces play dice in a bar. They decide to drive to Paris. Country roads, hills, fences. The posh “chateau” appears again: meticulous garden, fancy interior, odd sculptures. And at home? “No one, NO ONE.” For the next two days, masked figures play dice, frolic by the pool, perform exercises with a ball. Two new figures arrive. Masked. They search and find the dice. They dance. Mannequin hands hold a pair of dice.
– Written by David Carless
Director: Man Ray
Writer: Man Ray
Stars: Georges Auric, Jacques-André Boiffard, Le Comte de Beaumont