Pascal Grenier for

The new assistant of a daguerreotypy photographer falls in love with the latter’s daughter leading to some strange events.

Daguerreotype (Le Secret de la Chambre Noire) is the first international film by the prolific Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Pulse, Tokyo Sonata). Set in Belgium, with a french cast and crew, this singular fantasy drama will probably leave the viewer a little cold (especially those expecting a typical horror film or not familiar with Kurosawa’s earlier works). The pacing and suspense are uneven making some parts of the adventure rather weak.

Among strong aspects of Daguerreotype are the presentation of the art of daguerreotyping, an obsolete 19th century photographic process of still photography made on a silver surface. Then, it slowly turns into a peculiar supernatural tale  beautifully  crafted with every shots and frames  meticulously composed. The Bernard Herrmann-like score by Grégoire Hetzel adds to the eerie feeling.

There are a lot of ghosts in Kurosawa’s cinema. They are usually the representation of death. For him, including DAGUERREOTYPE, death is just an illusion…

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