'In this spa, this garden - a symmetrically organized French garden designed to serve as the 'front', as the smooth and respectable facade for the criminal activities of its roots - is inscribed a triangle as anxiety-inducing as one of Chirico's set-squares. But why? And these figures, who stand immobile on the garden path like so many chessmen and chesswomen, why do they cast shadows when the trees aligning the path do not? Yes, the shadows have been painted on, but why, for heaven's shake? And whose idea was it that chess pieces themselves, to while away the time between moves, surreptitiously play a little game with matchsticks called Nim, a game that bears a curious structural resemblance to the mental processes of the two players sitting opposite each other, with the spa spread out across their knees like a chessboard?'
Gilbert Adair: "Flickers - An Illustrated Celebration of 100 Years Of Cinema". Faber & Faber 1995.