The Vanishing Point | Chicago Reader

The Vanishing Point

The title refers to the focal point at which all lines converge to create perspective, which becomes the leitmotif of this highly imaginative 2007 mystery. Sylvie Testud (Fear and Trembling) stars as a headstrong art student in Paris who's determined to prove the identity of the unknown model central to a masterwork by the 18th-century painter Antoine Watteau. Ignoring her imperious, disapproving adviser (Jean-Pierre Marielle of The Da Vinci Code), she follows a clue provided by her secret admirer, a deaf-mute street performer nicely played by James Thierree. Director Laurent de Bartillat uses jump cuts, rack focus, wipes, and extreme close-ups to suggest thematic connections in this elaborate puzzle, which considers both the rewards and the costs of tunnel vision. In French and Flemish with subtitles. 79 min.

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