La revelateur | Chicago Reader

La revelateur

Philippe Garrel's silent, 35-millimeter black-and-white experimental feature of 1968. Shot in Munich and environs, it's less a narrative than a series of allegorical scenes in which actors Bernadette Lafont and Laurent Terzieff (both of whom Garrel had just met at a film festival) and a little boy portray a kind of hippie nuclear family. Beautifully filmed and inflected (the lighting and camera movements are especially striking and intense), often totally enigmatic, this haunting and poetic work helps to explain why Garrel has been a key influence on Leos Carax. Cinematographer Michel Fournier, who often worked with Garrel during this period, considers this their best collaboration, and it's easy to see why, especially in the ingenious filming of both natural settings and interiors to give this low-budget effort a studio flavor. (Some moments of sped-up action suggest that Garrel may have intended this to be seen at 18 frames per second, the traditional silent-film speed—not an option, alas, for this screening, at which the film will run a little over an hour.)

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