This is a highly experimental French film consisting of no more than 23 camera shots, total. It resembles nothing so much as one of Warhol’s earlier films, except that it is more episodic. Nico of the Velvet Underground portrays a different woman in each of the episodes. The first three concern her “rescues” from Death Valley, Egypt and Iceland by a young man to whom she eventually says “stay away from me.” Following that, she recites from various texts in German, French and English, makes various gnomic observations and encounters various men in various guises. All the men are played either by director Philippe Garrel or Pierre Clementi.
~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi Continue reading
Pierre and Manon are poor. They make documentaries with nothing and they live by doing odd jobs. Pierre meets a young intern, Elisabeth, and she becomes his mistress. But Pierre will not leave Manon for Elisabeth; he wants to keep both. Continue reading
Infidelity is something of a national pastime in France, at least if the movies are any indication. In the latest film from post-New Wave veteran Philippe Garrel, In the Shadow of Women (L’Ombre des femmes), a married couple gets emotionally muddled when both partners start cheating with people who offer them physical pleasure, but not necessarily emotional connection.
Initially somewhat wispy-feeling, this 72-minute feature transforms in its final reel from an ironic divertissement to a work of considerable feeling and intensity. Shot in handsome black-and-white on 35mm, though projected digitally at its Directors’ Fortnight premiere, the widescreen feature represents another respectable addition to Garrel’s filmography. It won’t break the bank, but it’ll be admired on the festival circuit and in niche release.
–The Hollywood Reporter Continue reading
“Liberté, la nuit, a title with a comma in the middle for a film divided in two parts. A film in black and white with a dark side and a jovial side. The first part of the title evokes politics, as the story recalls the days of the Algerian War of Independence; the second part represents the mood that hovers over the eminently painful images. There isn’t even a hint of daylight in the freedom of the title. It only lives metaphorically in the darkness and languor of the night.” — description by Violeta Kovacsics in the book “Philippe Garrel: Filmmaking Revealed” Continue reading
Faceted, fragmented, and oneiric, Philippe Garrel’s Elle a passé tant d’heures sous les sunlights… (She Spent So Many Hours Under the Sun Lamps) is more exorcism than expurgation, elegy than lamentation – an abstract, yet lucid chronicle of love and loss, death and birth sublimated through textural, self-reflexive impressions, visceral gestures, and metaphoric tableaux. A profoundly personal film dedicated to the memory of friend and fellow filmmaker (and May 68 idealist) Jean Eustache, and haunted by the unreconciled specter of Garrel’s failed relationship with Nico, the film opens to a crepuscular image of a couple – perhaps an actor and his lover (Jacques Bonnaffé and Anne Wiazemsky) as apparent surrogates for Garrel and Nico … more on SFS Continue reading
An impoverished actor tries to make his girl-friend a big star. But in spite of all his efforts he cannot get her proper roles. Eventually she falls in love with another man and cheats on him. Continue reading
Love is a universe of two in Philippe Garrel’s fatalistic romance “Frontier of Dawn.” Shot in richly textured and contrasting black-and-white celluloid, it centers on a young photographer, François (Louis Garrel, the filmmaker’s son), and the two women with whom he finds and loses love. After his affair ends with Carole (Laura Smet), a famous actress given to flare-ups and meltdowns, he immerses himself in a new life with Eve (Clémentine Poidatz), who promises him a child and perhaps a chance at real happiness. There’s more, including madness, electroshock treatment, a discussion about the cost of baby diapers, and the sudden emergence of a ghost in a mirror, all of which Mr. Garrel connects so loosely that they feel more like moments out of time than narrative fragments. — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times Continue reading