Philippe Garrel

The Frontier of Dawn, 2008

Philippe Garrel’s atmospheric and luminous, if oddly cold and alienated The Frontier of Dawn represents an amalgam of the filmmaker’s familiar themes: the haunting of a failed love affair, the helplessness of seeing a loved one self-destruct, the guilt (and isolation) of survival, the fear of fleeting happiness. In this respect, the film’s crepuscular title… read more »

Regular Lovers, 2005

Regular Lovers is a quintessential Philippe Garrel film. Part self-exorcism of the failed idealism of the May 68 counter-culture revolution that inevitably burned out in a haze of recreational drug use, sexual liberation, and the inertia of bohemianism, and part elegy on love found in the wreckage of a heartbreaking aftermath that, too, becomes inevitably… read more »

Savage Innocence, 2001

In an early episode in the film, a struggling filmmaker, François (Mehdi Belhaj Kacem) meets with a producer named Hutten (Jean Pommier) in order to obtain funding for his proposed, self-described anti-heroin and anti-mafia film that serves do demythologize drugs called Sauvage Innocence that revolved around the tragic life of a presumably fictional character named… read more »

The Birth of Love, 1993

A dispassionate and bedraggled middle-aged actor named Paul (Lou Castel) bids a polite farewell to the lady of the house, Hélène (Dominique Reymond) before setting out into the street, accompanied by his solemn and equally impassive host Markus (Jean-Pierre Léaud) to the local convenience store to purchase a pack of cigarettes before saying goodbye to… read more »

Elle a passé tant d’heures sous les sunlights…, 1985

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… read more »

Le Lit de la vierge, 1969

There is an understatedly crystalline moment in Le Lit de la vierge (The Virgin’s Bed) when the scarlet woman, Marie Magdalène (Zouzou), having encountered the fragile and aimless Jesus (Pierre Clémenti) for the first time, cryptically explains that the men of the village pay for her company through the archaic currency of stones – and… read more »

Le Révélateur, 1968

One of the experimental works created from the cadre of radical, emerging artists financed under the rubric of Zanzibar films that captured the spirit of May 68 and the counter culture revolution, Philippe Garrel’s silent film Le Révélateur is a fractured and elliptical, but instinctive, elemental, and haunting rumination on the process of awakening, maturation,… read more »