1968 and 1969 in Paris: during and after the student and trade union revolt. François is 20, a poet, dodging military service. He takes to the barricades, but won't throw a Molotov cocktail... See full summary »
Middle-aged artistes provide the focus of this drama filmed in black and white. The story is set in Paris around the time of the Gulf War. Paul is an actor leading a drab directionless ... See full summary »
Johanna ter Steege
Philippe is a middle-aged painter, he lives with Annie : they have two kids. Just after they split up, Philippe meets Justine. He starts thinking about love, the relationship between former... See full summary »
The landscapes used here are absolutely mesmerizing, to begin this on a positive note, a mixture of salty flatlands and volcanic deserts. And the ways the camera navigates them are also remarkable, the subjective motions against vast horizons.
But it is a work of art, no quotation marks required. Art as has evolved in the past century is nothing, in the sense that it is not anything, and is not required to mean anything beyond the means of expression. It hinges on the artist's selective framing, and usually some means to engage the curiosity of our gaze. But it does not need to be anything more than a urinal set up on a pedestal, to use the oft-quoted example.
Art being a two-way road of course, a kind of conversation, we are not required to engage it deeply. We can marvel as well as scoff, with all that is implicit in either. So I will let others tease out the symbolic quota of the film for some lengthy dissertation where the naked male rider stands in for whatever it is he does.
What I am interested in, is something that penetrates the soul of my being, tethers images and threads them in ways I wouldn't imagine. Images of some purity, by definition selectively framed, that expand into the world they are framed from; and in ways that address the subjective experience of framing by watching.
Naturally, dreams and myth have provided ample background from which to cull images. The idea is that we are treading the grounds of an unconscious sleep but which gives rise to the elements of life around us, a ritual sleep that matters because it supplies lucid form from waking life. It is something we can use to invigorate life again. Dreamlike imagery then can only matter as much as its imports.
There is none of that here, nothing lucid in the dreaming. It is at best a relaxing tone poem deriving most of its power from natural beauty recast as an internal landscape traveled by a man and a woman, but with now and then a different chord strummed in liturgic seriousness that tells us we're meant to be unraveling the vaguery for something of importance. I could not discern anything of importance, hopefully you will.
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