Dream of the Wild Horses, a film by Denys Colomb de Daunant


Denys Colomb de Daunant wrote and acted in Albert Lamorisse’s boy-meets-horse film, White Mane, in 1953. Lamorisse’s feature concerns the wild horses that roam the Camargue in France, and the same horses are the subject of Dream of the Wild Horses (1960), a kind of oneiric sequel to White Mane. There’s no narrative, only a succession of slow-motion shots of horses fighting, running, and—in a sequence you hope wasn’t set up for the cameras—stampeding through a wall of flames. Of note for me is the score by Jacques Lasry which is performed on the Cristal Baschet, a unique instrument of glass and metal developed by François and Bernard Baschet in the 1950s. (See this post.) Films such as this depend more than most on their musical accompaniment, and the eerie, rumbling timbres of Lasry’s music help sustain the dreamlike qualities of the piece.