Thursday, 17 January
End of the Road Cinema: La belle captive
LA BELLE CAPTIVE 1983
(The Beautiful Prisoner)
Directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet
In French with English subtitles
Somewhat similar in theme to Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, but far more abstract and erotically charged, this film is typical of Robbe-Grillet's elliptical maze-like narratives (Last Year in Marienbad). In general the structure of his films are like an Escher print of twisting stairways which lead back onto themselves. Aesthetically, this film in particular is tapping into the work of the surrealist painter René Magritte, but fused with an otherworldly sexuality.
A man (Daniel Mesguich) becomes entranced by a young woman (Gabrielle Lazure) dancing in a nightclub, but later that night he finds her crumpled on the road. He takes her bruised body to a nearby mansion. He sleeps with her, but when he wakes in the morning she is gone. He tries to solve this mystery, but the further he digs, the more incomprehensible things become. On one of his many twisted encounters he is confronted by adversary Sara Zeitgeist - who happens to be a stunning woman on a motorcycle, dressed in glistening wet leather.
Robbe-Grillet manages to solder together a dynamite array of rhymes, repetitions, hangovers, flashbacks, frames-within-frames, and other devices which he powers with a high-octane Surrealist fuel. Expect a twisted David Lynchian dreamscape where everything is up for grabs, nothing really fits comfortably in the end, and where the nature of our very our existence is lead into question. Subversive sexuality was always a keynote in all of Robbe-Grillet's films, and its also true of this film. The crystal-clear dreamlike cinematography is by the great Henri Alekan (Cocteau's La belle et la bête, Wender's Der Himmel über Berlin).
This will be a high-definition screening.
Date & Time: