Arnaud Desplechin

A Christmas Tale, 2008

Returning to the recurring themes of parental alienation and surrogacy of La Vie des morts, Playing “In the Company of Men”, and Kings and Queen, A Christmas Tale is a quintessential Arnaud Desplechin film in its ingenious, heady collision of disparate, often contradictory, yet integrally interconnected forms. On one level is the intersection of savior… read more »

Kings and Queens, 2004

In a subtly revealing scene that occurs in the first hour in Desplechin’s intelligently conceived, incisive, and immensely engaging film Kings and Queen, a woman in her late thirties named Nora (Emmanuelle Devos) stops to visit a powder room after a frantic all-night drive from Grenoble to Paris in order to check her appearance, fix… read more »

Playing “In the Company of Men”, 2003

Arnaud Desplechin’s fractured, self-reflexive portrait of corporate anomie, based on British author Edward Bond’s play In the Company of Men, is a frustratingly disjointed and excessively soundtracked (often with unnecessarily cranked up, thematically unrelated music from Paul Weller and The Jam that renders the dialogue inaudible) that is punctuated with episodes of fractured clarity. Fusing… read more »

How I Got Into an Argument… (My Sex Life), 1996

Arnaud Desplechin’s films may be anarchic and free-formed, but they are never without a sense of internal logic and intelligent construction. This liberating sense of organic structure is particularly evident in the opening sequence of How I Got Into an Argument… (My Sex Life): a napping assistant professor and seemingly perennial doctoral candidate, Paul Dedalus… read more »

La Vie de morts, 1991

Even from his first feature film La Vie des morts, Arnaud Desplechin was already establishing a quintessentially dynamic framework for his recurring themes on surrogacy, human idiosyncrasies, and the ephemeral nature of desire. In an interview with Cahiers du CinĂ©ma writer Jean Douchet, Desplechin illustrates this envisioned (un)structure of relational roundelays in the composition of… read more »