Week 18/2024

Libération’s Julien Gester described the French filmmakers Guy Gilles and Philippe Garrel as cousins sharing a similar dark romanticism, the same inclination for a cinema of poetry and relics, still-life lyricism and lightning autobiographies. In L’amour à la mer (1965) – screening at KASKcinema this Wednesday – Guy Gilles plays Guy who has a profound relationship with another man (Daniel) in whom we can also recognize the director. In Elle a passé tant d’heures sous les sunlights... (1985), screening at CINEMATEK on Friday, Philippe Garrel’s alter ego is making a film with a friend called Christa, echoing the real-life relationship between Garrel and Nico (real name Christa). At the same time, Garrel himself plays the director of the film within the film, but he also appears as himself interviewing Chantal Akerman and Jacques Doillon.

In Eric de Kuyper’s Casta Diva (1982) – which he’ll introduce at CINEMATEK on Tuesday – we watch his life partner, Emile Poppe, among other of the filmmaker’s friends, performing simple tasks in real time. In 1970, de Kuyper praised Philippe Garrel’s La concentration (1968) for its mise-en-scène of bodies in space – a couple dressed in their underwear around a bed and two adjoining rooms. “Grandiose,” he writes, about how, after 45 minutes, a very long backward tracking shot of the forward movement of the woman reveals the space. Garrel’s film might have been somewhere in the back of his mind when designing the slow 900-degree camera rotation across the male bodies posing in a bare, wooden floor room at the end of Casta Diva.

This Week