Guillaume Nicloux’s Valley of Love drops audiences in the more than appropriately named Death Valley, which ultimately functions not only as the perfect mirror for the film’s official title, but as the most suitable setting for the interaction between two cinematic giants. It’s as if the landscape had opened itself up into an unadorned crater of a stage to allow Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu to mingle with one another. They star as a divorced couple named Isabelle and Gérard—a humble acknowledgement from Nicloux that any attempt to forget the stature of these actors will be futile. Isabelle and Gérard haven’t seen each other in a long time, but they’ve reunited in California at the behest of their recently deceased son, Michael, who left them letters before he committed suicide intimating that they forge a reunion and that, if they follow his guidelines, he would reappear to them.Read More »
Suzanne Simonin describes her life of suffering in letters. As a young woman she is sent to a convent against her will. Since her parents cannot afford the dowry required for a marriage befitting her rank they decide she must instead become a nun. Although a kind and understanding Mother Superior helps her to learn the convent’s daily routine, Suzanne’s desire for freedom remains unabated. When the Mother Superior dies, Suzanne finds herself faced with reprisals, humiliation and harassment at the hands of the new Abbess and the other Sisters. For many years, Suzanne is subjected to bigotry and religious fanaticism.Read More »
“Le Poulpe” is adapted from one of a series of French crime novels, each written by a different author. They are quick reads and often of dubious quality. This film adaptation by Guillaume Nicloux is, however, a different matter.
Gabriel, dit Le Poulpe (The Octopus), played superbly by Jean-Pierre Darroussin, is a laid-back private investigator who works on cases for his own pleasure. He is drawn to the fictional Loire Valley port of Angerneau (St. Nazaire, Loire-Atlantique), with his lover Clotilde (the luscious Courau) who has been summoned by the police concerning the defacement of a deceased relative’s grave. Since Angernau is her home town, she wants to leave it as soon as possible to avoid old acquaintances, but Gabriel stumbles on intriguing events concerning the cargo of a ship in port. Central to the scheme of things is a drunken Scotsman (Faulkner) who seems stranded in the town.Read More »
Guillaume Nicloux – L’enlèvement de Michel Houellebecq aka The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq (2014)2011-2020ComedyCultFranceGuillaume Nicloux
September 16th 2011. The TV news networks, newspapers, blogs, websites and radio stations are all reporting on one story: Allegedly – star author Michel Houellebecq, winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 2010, has been abducted. Some members of the media go so far as to suggest that Al-Qaeda may be involved.
For the next few days, the news ripples through literary circles and members of the press, feeding buzz and speculation. A brazen kidnapping? An identity crisis? A plan to escape abroad? A schizophrenic delirium?
Michel will never provide the media with any rational explanation for what happened to him.
Michel Houellebecq. Who is he really? A good writer? A great author? Even more than that? The most widely read living French writer in the world? The most hated and the most respected one? Does he deserve to be classified among those celebrated enfants terribles of our national prose, right there next to Artaud, Céline, Genêt or Gracq?
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