The “Sanguinaires” | Chicago Reader

The “Sanguinaires”

An artist and his small circle of friends flee millennial celebrations for a desolate Mediterranean island in Laurent Cantet's contribution to the French TV anthology “2000 Seen By.” The pilgrims set up rules to avoid talking about the rest of the world but can't resist the temptation to rail against it. Cantet is a keen observer of group interaction, of intimate gestures and small talk that speaks volumes; moments in the film suggest the sly provocation of Renoir's The Rules of the Game. But ultimately Cantet is more fascinated with emotional alienation than spiritual salvation, as the artist mysteriously disappears following a long night of inner torment. His loneliness is never explained, and in posing a mystery that can't be solved, Cantet is squarely in Antonioni territory.

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