The world of Philippe Garrel’s films is hushed and hermetic, mostly interior, and sparsely populated by beautiful men and women in the thrall of love or narcotics (or both). His most recent movie, Frontier of Dawn, stars his big-schnozzed, lion-haired son Louis as a photographer in metaphysically charged love; it plays for a week at BAM starting today, alongside another weeklong run, Christopher Honoré’s La Belle Personne, also starring Garrel. “The Louis Garrel in Love double feature,” quips Nicolas Rapold in the current issue of the L, where he reviews both:
Garrel’s amazing feel for the communion of a relationship comes to the fore; as often before, key scenes occur on bare floors or lolling on beds, and the rest of the world can seem a sketch of a memory…
In Honoré’s La Belle Personne, Garrel is a high school teacher macking on the new girl (fellow boxer-puffy beauty Léa Seydoux)… Garrel is only one moving part among several in the Paris school’s romantic swirl of teenagers modeling winter casuals. It’s hard to get a handle on Honoré’s self-serious characters, introduced in corridor and classroom blurs, nor does the cast master a script (adapted from or credentialed by a 17th-century novel) whose larger movements feel disembodied. Honoré however convenes a powerful ensemble of hair to support Garrel’s fabled mane.
Louis Garrel, who is maybe the person in the world I would most like to be, I have decided, will be on hand for screenings of both this Sunday.
This is all part of BAM’s spotlight to IFC Films, who are doing god’s work finding braoder-than-niche audiences for international auteur fare, through strategies from platform releases to on-demand cable; there’s some good forthcoming stuff in it, especially Summer Hours, and the middle twenty minutes of Hunger.