Belle de jour, 1967

Belle de Jour is a provocative and emotionally complex film about sexual inhibition, liberation, and obsession. Highly controversial, critically acclaimed, and even banned for its mature subject matter, Belle de Jour is an artistic and surprisingly tactful and discreet film, operating on a level that is suggestive and erotic without gratuitous titillation. Severine (Catherine Deneuve), […]

All the Fine Promises (Toutes ces belles promesses), 2003

Channeling the understated and incisive relational observations of Eric Rohmer, refracted through the magical realist convergences of Raul Ruiz’s voluptuous living memories, and bifurcated through Hong Sang-soo’s situational parallelisms, All the Fine Promises is a gorgeously rendered, lyrical encapsulation of Jean-Paul Civeyrac’s aesthetic modulations between physicality and sensuality, dreams and reality, memory and desire. Ostensibly […]

Fantômes, 2001

On the surface, Jean-Paul Civeyrac’s Fantômes unfolds with a sense of haunted, supernatural disequilibrium that similarly infuses Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s atmospheric, tonal cinema. In the film’s opening sequence, a young acting student, Mouche (Dina Ferreira) stares out the window of an empty room and wistfully implores her absent lover, Bruno (Olivier Boreel) to return. Alone with […]

Persecution, 2009

The themes explored in Patrice Chéreau’s probing, tightly constructed Persecution are prefigured in the film’s disorienting (and quintessentially Chéreau) opening sequence. Scanning from one anonymous commuter to another, a panhandler makes her way through a crowded train before someone makes inopportune eye contact, and she responds by slapping her face. The episode intrigues a bystander, […]