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Tuesday, October 25

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France, 2000
Directed by Raúl Ruiz
Adapted from the Massimo Bontempelli novel The Child of Two Mothers
Starring Isabelle Huppert, Jeanne Balibar, Charles Berling, Édith
Approx. 100 min. 35mm print courtesy Villa Albertine, French Embassy in the U.S.

"At the center of COMEDY OF INNOCENCE is a round-faced, apple-cheeked moppet named Camille (Nils Hugon) who lives in serene haut-bourgeois elegance in an old house in Paris. Shortly after his ninth birthday, Camille, whose closest companions are a possibly imaginary friend named Alexandre and a video camera, starts behaving strangely. He insists that his name is Paul and starts addressing his mother (Isabelle Huppert), with cold formality, by her first name, which is Ariane. Soon he has dragged her halfway across the city to the chic bohemian apartment of the woman he claims is his real mother, a flighty violin teacher named Isabella (Jeanne Balibar), whose son drowned two years earlier. What is going on here? Some kind of strange supernatural event? Is this the latest movie to explore the possibility of parallel realities, to imagine a kind of lived hypertext? For its first hour, Raul Ruiz's film, adapted from a novel by the Italian writer Massimo Bontempelli called The Boy With Two Mothers, weaves an elegant spell of epistemological confusion. The quiet, elegant Parisian interiors take on a spooky, claustrophobic feel, which is intensified by the odd behavior of the people who inhabit them." – A.O. Scott, The New York Times


“Eerie and beautifully understated, this is an intriguing blend of tense psychological thriller and bourgeois comedy of manners.”
The Guardian

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