IMDb > Gradiva (C'est Gradiva qui vous appelle) (2006)
Gradiva (C'est Gradiva qui vous appelle)
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Gradiva (C'est Gradiva qui vous appelle) (2006) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
9 May 2007 (France) See more »
An orientalist professor researching Delacroix's North African work becomes entangled in an S&M waking dream in Morocco. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A more personal ARG film, illuminating for fans See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)

James Wilby ... John Locke

Arielle Dombasle ... Leila / Gradiva
Dany Verissimo-Petit ... Belkis (as Dany Verissimo)
Farid Chopel ... Anatoli
Lotfi Yahya Jedidi ... Le mendiant
Marie Espinosa ... Claudine
Farida Khelfa ... Elvira

Faycal Attougui ... Guard
Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni ... Commissaire Madhi
Pascal Judelewicz ... Le photographe
Asmaa Bouafia ... Nina
Siham Lahkim ... Servante
Hamid Nider ... Kaleb
Zineb Nijih ... Djamila

Directed by
Alain Robbe-Grillet 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Wilhelm Jensen  novel
Alain Robbe-Grillet 

Produced by
Jamal Amiri .... executive producer
Pascal Judelewicz .... executive producer
Pascal Judelewicz .... producer
Kristina Larsen .... producer
Mark Schulman .... co-producer
Original Music by
Jacques-Emmanuel Rousselon 
Cinematography by
Dominique Colin 
Film Editing by
France Duez 
Casting by
Sylvie Brocheré 
Production Design by
Daniel Bevan  (as Dan Bevan)
Daniel Bevan 
Art Direction by
Daniel Bevan 
Yves Hanchar 
Set Decoration by
Daniel Bevan 
Costume Design by
Claire Gerard-Hirne 
Makeup Department
Zineb Bendoula .... hair stylist
Marie Lastennet .... makeup artist
Production Management
Hassan Amiri .... production manager
Jamal Amiri .... production manager
Svetlana Novak .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Adil Abdelwahab .... first assistant director
François Chaillou .... first assistant director
Morgan Develay .... second assistant director
Bertrant Gagey .... assistant director
Art Department
Badi .... property master
Mustapha Benkiram .... construction coordinator
Hassan Benmaachou .... carpenter
Yann Dury .... assistant art director
Yann Dury .... assistant designer
Mohamed Raquaa .... props
Sound Department
Alexandre Andrillon .... boom operator
Philippe Baudhuin .... sound mixer
Jean Minondo .... sound engineer
Jean Minondo .... sound
Ingrid Ralet .... sound editor
Philippe van Leer .... foley artist
Faical Attougi .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Brahim Amarak .... assistant electrician
Brahim Amarak .... gaffer
Toma Baqueni .... still photographer
Mohamed Damouh .... video assistant
Faudel El Ouardi .... grip
Si Mohamed El Ouardi .... grip
Mounia Lamrani .... first assistant camera
Haj Rifki .... camera loader
Haj Rifki .... clapper loader
Philippe Wegiel .... electrician
Philippe Wegiel .... gaffer
Casting Department
Valérie Le Doze .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Abdeliah Bidari .... dresser (as Abdelilah El Bidari)
Abdeliah Bidari .... wardrobe (as Abdelilah El Bidari)
Beatrice Moreau .... wardrobe
Béatrice Moreau .... wardrobe
Rokia .... wardrobe
Janina Ryba .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Séverine Cava .... assistant editor
Other crew
Hassan Amiri .... production coordinator
Mustapha Amiri .... manager: second unit
Alexandre Andrillon .... mic operator
Eric Arbez .... drawer
Karima Benouadah .... production coordinator
Mohamed Damouh .... computer technician
Yves Hanchar .... technical and artistic advisor
Vanessa Jerrom .... press
Feryal Mail .... script supervisor
Arlette Mas .... production administrator
Rachid Maya .... production administrator
Nadege Pageau .... accountant
Charles-Edouard Renault .... legal counsel
Di Gangi Romain .... runner

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"It's Gradiva Who Is Calling You" - International (English title) (literal title)
See more »
Italy:110 min (Venice Film Festival)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Filming Locations:

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18 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
A more personal ARG film, illuminating for fans, 11 April 2009
Author: oOgiandujaOo from United Kingdom

Here we have a film that should be very intriguing to Alain Robbe-Grillet fans. There is perhaps a tendency of critics and viewers to focus on the more youthful works of directors and abandon the mature canon, Robbe-Grillet falls into this lacuna, alongside Godard, Chabrol, Rivette, Argento, Jancso, Resnais, and Iosseliani. This could be a case of going for style over unvarnished self-expression. Gradiva is less stylistically audacious than Eden and After (both movies have similar geographical themes and settings), but Robbe-Grillet is saying a lot more about the nature of fantasy and love, and actually the nature of censorship, in this film. I think it's even really a very gentle movie despite the extended focus on S&M.

ARG has always been very careful to delineate between reality and on-screen fantasy, but nowhere more so than in this movie, where, as in Trans-Europ-Express, he has a character actually creating the story we are seeing, to stress that, "it's only a movie". This has been a tradition of decadent literature, de Lautréamont for example prefaces Les Chants de Maldoror with the following caveat, "God grant that the reader, emboldened and having become at present as fierce as what he is reading, find, without loss of bearings, his way, his wild and treacherous passage through the desolate swamps of these sombre, poison-soaked pages; for, unless he should bring to his reading a rigorous logic and a sustained mental effort at least as strong as his distrust, the lethal fumes of this book shall dissolve his soul as water does sugar." To me at least, the plot of the movie is quite simple when stepping back. Locke lives with his (apparently indentured) servant Belkis, who is in love with him. At night he hears the faint singing of Gradiva, who can seen as death, or a ghost, or a facilitator of Locke's more extreme fantasies. He leaves Belkis on his shiny Harley (a motif from La Belle Captive) and journeys into the bazaar of Eastern fantasy. It's a simple Bollywood/Hollywood cookie cutter script at heart, there's a man and there's a good girl and a bad girl battling for his heart.

The main character in this movie is John Locke, presumably a reference to the synonymous philosopher whose conception of the self as a continuity of consciousness is a clear touchstone of the movie. He's an Orientalist professor who is interested in tracing the Moroccan adventures of the painter French painter Eugène Delacroix. This also may pique the curiosity of the Eden and After fan who had noticed at the time the influence of Delacroix in certain scenes of that movie (the firedancing by the sea with the Arabian horsemen for example).

Locke shifts through different modes and interstices, fictional, oneiric, uncanny waking, it's often hard to tell. There's an illuminating quote from Leila/Gradiva, "In fact the world of dreams resembles very much the other. It's its exact double, its twin. There are characters, objects, words, fears, pleasures, dramas, but everything is infinitely more violent." There's a Madame Butterfly theme to the movie, some may say the use of the music was a step too far, but Robbe-Grillet was too old to care about such posturing I'm sure.

So I mentioned about censorship at the start. There's a quite stunning moment where it dawned on me that Arielle Dombasle was speaking as Alain Robbe-Grillet, from beyond the grave, on the theme of censorship. She talks about herself as a "comedienne de rêves", by which she is talking about film direction assuredly. She tells a story about having planned a "Sado-Lesbian epic", which was to have starred an underage girl, the girl was enthusiastic, the parents had signed off, everyone was in accord, but the producer was too afraid to do it, can you imagine, he only cared about money ("des sous!", which I presume is a pun?). It sounds a very interesting film, but I think ARG is being a bit quaint, setting the film industry up as something that would be self-policing on the matter of the use of underage nudity.

There are a lot of likable uncanny touches in the movie: at the start of the film Locke is watching a slide projector with a deck of Delacroix paintings of horses. One particularly good one is in sepia and shows a woman dancing whilst holding the bridle of a rearing horse. Locke hears the clip clop of hooves, the dream has become reality, and he looks out the window and sees a horse and female rider outside. Locke's toothache was a slightly nausea-inducing effect which worked well for me. My favourite though is how characters he meets, strangers or otherwise philosophise at him and finish saying, "Didn't you know that John Locke?" I wondered going in to the movie about the chances that it was on a par with Eden and After. My surprised answer is yes, it may even be better. There is an element of juvenilia to Eden and After, I think ARG, who was a mathematics student once, was probably picturing himself as one of the bored dramatic maths students in that movie. Gradiva I felt was a more mature and frank work.

I think that some would be disappointed that the dreams are not presented with the audacity say of the sequences in Tarsem's Cell. However I think that would be over-exuberant for the subject matter. James Wilby as Locke is interesting, I recognise him as a bit part actor from UK TV series, so how he got involved with this is a mystery to me. I would say a lot of people wouldn't quite go for his performance but he is very much meant to be a Candide in this film, so I can quite happily accept what others may look on as naive acting.

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