Niki de Saint Phalle

Sog., Scen.: Niki de Saint Phalle. F.: Bernard Zitzermann. M.: Nicole Garnier, Dominique Cazeneuve. Scgf.: Niki de Saint Phalle. Mus.: Peter Whitehead. Int.: Laura Duke Condominas (Camélia), Laurence Bourqui (Camélia bambina), Niki de Saint Phalle (la madre / la maîtresse), Roberto (il nano), Rico Weber (il drago), Humbert Balsan (Sébastien), Laurent Condomidas (Basile), Jean Tinguely (il padre / il generale rosa). Prod.: Claude Jauvert, Mark Goodman per Auditel. DCP. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

The film is an imaginary and poetic ballad, a marvellous tale that can be seen as the dream of a night brought to life. Daddy, Niki de Saint-Phalle’s first feature film, a film-poem, was something of an exorcism through which the director seemed to want to surrender herself and cut loose from her own visions.
Un rêve plus long que la nuit is the intimate, poetic vision that a mother, an artist, can have of her  daughter’s life. We know that Laura Condominas, who plays the role of Camélia, is Niki de Saint-Phalle’s daughter. The film is therefore a fairy tale-like evocation of a female character’s passage from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. Images of playfulness, joy and happiness, images of fear and terror when confronted for the first time with various experiences: sex, death, cruelty…
And, as in a fairy tale, it all ends happily, with hope, the discovery of love and an open door leading to the light… The film wishes, it appears, to revive the marvellous, the fantastic, in the tradition of Meliès and Cocteau… There is no denying the originality of its poetic universe, of its delirious and surrealistic imagination. Landscapes, sets, costumes, music, sounds and Tinguely’s machines plunge the viewer into a strange, magical, fairy tale land from which the obsessions of a creator who is both a woman and a mother emerge. It is a feminine version of a cinema that is quite close to that of Jodorowsky or Arrabal.
Absolutely love it, or utterly hate it. Either way, you cannot remain indifferent.

André Cornand, “Image et Son”, n. 320-321, October 1977

 Un rêve plus long que la nuit, in my opinion, is one of the few completely successful attempts at French baroque cinema, the richness of which aims to encapsulate many meanings; it ventures into the territory of traditional psychoanalysis, which finds itself entirely called into question, as well as that of artistic creativity, conceived in the heterogeneity of the materials used.

Raphaël Bassan, “Écran”, n. 54, January 1977

Copy From

Restored in 4K by Niki Charitable Art Foundation with funding provided by Dior at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, from the 16mm camera and sound negatives