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L'enfant secret (1979)

Four chapters based on the birth of a 'secret child', or a film, with chapter titles: "La séction Césarienne" (Caesarian section: a descriptive detail introducing the mother); "Le dernier ... See full summary »

Director:

Philippe Garrel

Writer:

Philippe Garrel
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Anne Wiazemsky ... Elie
Henri de Maublanc Henri de Maublanc ... Jean-Baptiste
Xuan Lindenmeyer Xuan Lindenmeyer ... Swann, Elie's child
Cécile Le Bailly Cécile Le Bailly ... Chloé
Elli Medeiros ... The whore
Philippe Garrel ... Psychiatric patient
Christian Päffgen Christian Päffgen ... Boy (as Ari Päffgen)
Benoît Ferreux
Eliane Roy Eliane Roy ... Jean-Baptiste's mother
Bambou Bambou
Edwige Edwige ... La prostituée (as Edwige Gruss)
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Storyline

Four chapters based on the birth of a 'secret child', or a film, with chapter titles: "La séction Césarienne" (Caesarian section: a descriptive detail introducing the mother); "Le dernier guerrier" (the last warrior: how the father sees himself); "Le cercle ophydique" (the serpent's closed circle: the couple reunites at the psychiatric ward); "Les forêts désenchantées" (unfairy forests: the film in the making). Written by Artemis-9

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Plot Keywords:

anthology | independent film | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

18 October 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das verheimlichte Kind See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Élie: His father is an actor. I went to see him on the set of a film shortly after giving birth, and he said he would recognize the child, but he never did, and I never saw him again.
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Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Les signes parmi nous (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE SECRET SON visualizes a disarming and poetic rhythm with its vintage, grained quality, and a deceptively veiled insouciance
28 June 2018 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

It is never to late to enroll in the Philippe Garrel school, a SIFF screening of his under-seen juvenilia THE SECRET SON, made when he was 31, premiered in 1979 but only officially released in 1982, this Black-and-White curio stars Godard muse Anne Wiazemsky as a single mother Elie, who strikes a relationship with Jean-Bapiste (de Maublanc), a young filmmaker.

The story is played out in four chapters: Caesarian Section, The Last Warrior, The Serpent's Closed Circle and Unfairy Forests, and nominally, the titular son refers to Swann (Lundenmeyer), Elie's illegitimate son with an actor, who refuses to initiate his parental role, and has long been out of the picture. Tentative interactions take place in intimate surroundings (mostly indoors), but incoherency is pervading every nook and cranny here, Garrel offers no access to the pair's inner states on top of their laconic wording and enigmatic, brooding miens, preponderantly set on automatic pilot.

Garrel punctuates the film's desultory narrative and experimental complexion with static, protracted long takes, perversely resist a viewer's wonted habit, to a frequently wearing effect. That said, THE SECRET SON visualizes a disarming and poetic rhythm with its vintage, grained quality, and a deceptively veiled insouciance, through many a loosely-connected plot, may it be Jean-Bapiste's electric shock therapy, Elie's drug addiction or bereavement, a moody deconstruction of our species' ever-uncomprehending psychology.

It must be an acquired taste to savor Garrel's free-associative, intelligent, yet beguilingly evasive modus operandi, and THE SECRET SON might be less an apposite open sesame than a piquant amuse-gueule, but at the end of the day, Faton Cahen's euphonious piano cadenza alone is worth audience's while.


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