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Slideshow

WILD GRASS

Tuesday, August 23
12:30   6:45

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France, 2009
Directed by Alain Resnais
Starring Sabine Azéma, André Dussollier, Anne Consigny, Emmanuelle Devos
Based on the novel by Christian Gailly
35mm. Approx. 105 min. In French with English subtitles.


“[A] joyfully skittish farce…Combining the verbose theatrical games of his ’80s films with the time, space and character manipulations of early classics such as LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD,  WILD GRASS also feels like Resnais’ ode to something like ‘Twin Peaks’ – a work which is inviting and gentle on the surface but inscrutable and strange the more you look at it.

It’s based on a surreal novel by French author Christian Gailly called ‘L’Incident’ and details the fallout of a preposterous romance that forms between antisocial house husband Georges Palet (André Dussollier) and dentist-cum-budding aviatrix, Marguerite Muir (Azéma) when her purse is snatched and he recovers it. Every frame is filled with blushed neon hues that look like they’ve been filmed through a smear of Vaseline. The kinetic camera hovers and glides around scenes, at one point even leaping over the top of a house. These stylistic elements –  along with a dainty, midi-jazz score – lend the film a dreamlike quality. What’s it all about, though? It could be everything and nothing. There are allusions to psychosis, chaos, reincarnation, anxiety, communication and even the romanticised nature of cinema itself. It’s cheeky and confident, maybe one of the director’s finest, and its loopy final line is the cryptic cherry on this oddball gâteau.” – David Jenkins, Time Out

Reviews

“WILD GRASS is carefree and anarchic, takes bold risks, spins in unexpected directions… Here is a young man’s film made with a lifetime of experience.”
– Roger Ebert

“WILD GRASS is an elegant vessel for outlandish thoughts and troubling impulses. In his rejection of cinematic naturalism, Resnais has made a movie that’s both utterly contrived and completely lifelike.”
– Mark Jenkins, NPR

Film Forum