Dir. Man Ray, 16mm B/W Silent 00:03:30
JULIET, the first, is an avant-garde home movie shot in 8 mm around 1943 and composed of an alternating montage of images of Juliet photographed by Man Ray in their Hollywood apartment and parallel images of him shot by her. In the opening scene, Juliet appears to be trapped behind the windows of the apartment door, but she opens it and walks into the courtyard. When Man Ray repeats the actions, he runs maniacally toward the camera. Following a loose interlude of scenes of the studio and the streets of Hollywood is a series of shots of Juliet sitting in the courtyard, laughing. In his parallel scenes Man Ray lights a cigarette, tossing the match at Juliet behind the camera; he walks around smoking, then starts to ham, doing a handstand and unfastening his pants. The final sequence begins with the film’s longest shot, in which Juliet dances inside the studio before Man Ray’s recently completed painting, "The Woman and Her Fish, II", and the film concludes with him standing in the same place looking at the camera. A slight, entirely personal film, it is nevertheless consciously composed (clothing changes indicate, for example, that is was not all shot on the same occasion), and it is a link between the interactive erotic Surrealist films Man Ray made in Paris in the 1920s, particularly BALLET MÉCANIQUE, for which he and Dudley Murphy both shot footage of their lovers- as well as SOUL OF THE CYPRESS, Murphy’s earlier film portrait of his new wife, Chase Harringdine (herself, like Juliet, a dance looking for work in the studios)- and the Surrealist interactive cinema of lovers that Maya Deren was independently creating around the same time just a couple of miles away.
[Source: David James, The Most Typical Avant-Garde, 2005]