Half-century synchronicity In Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951) James Mason portrays Hendrick van der Zee, the Flying Dutchman. (Get it? van der Zee=fantasy) With Giorgio de Chirico-styled imagery beautifully captured by cinematographer Jack Cardiff and Man Ray as the film's still photographer, the critic Jonathan Rosenbaum commented, "I think it could even be argued that this movie is the supreme encounter between Surrealism and Hollywood."
I first saw Pandora and the Flying Dutchman on March 9, 1952. So I was somewhat surprised by the scene in the film where Pandora Reynolds (Ava Gardner) asks what day it is and is told it is March 9. That may have been the first time I ever gave any thought to synchronicity.
There are three dates given in the film, March 9 ("the ninth day of the third month," says Pandora), September 3 ("the third day of the ninth month") and August 20, 1930.
A few months ago, I received this email from my brother on August 21: "I was watching this 1951 movie yesterday via Netflix. Ava Gardner is at a car race on the beach in Spain. Large banner for the race with the date in large letters: August 20, 1930. The odds were 365 to 1 that I would watch that movie on August 20th." In a later email he added that August 20 is "a date I celebrate every year as the anniversary of my release from active duty in the Air Force."
In this clip, Pandora swims out to Hendrick's yacht, and the two talk about coincidence.