At her son’s funeral, Solange, a lawyer famous for losing hopeless cases, agrees to defend René, her son’s age, accused of murdering his wealthy aunt, Jeanne, who’s part of the Franco-Belgian Psychoanalytic Society, known for odd views and methods. She reads Jeanne’s journal, documenting René’s criminal tendencies. Solange believes him innocent, manipulated into the murder or framed. Odd psychiatrists turn up, including Georges Didier, who runs FBPS, and his rival, Christian, who believes crime originates in a story’s taking hold of a person. After the verdict, René and Solange’s relationship changes, Georges and his society commit a bizarre act, and the police record Solange’s story. —IMDb
Chilean filmmaker Raúl, or Raoul, Ruiz (1941-2011) was one of the most exciting and innovative filmmakers to emerge from 1960s World Cinema, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. A guerrilla who uncompromisingly assaulted the preconceptions of film art, this frightfully prolific figure – he made over 100 films in 40 years – did not adhere to any one style of filmmaking. He worked in 35mm, 16mm and video, for theatrical release and for European TV, and on documentary and fiction features and shorts. His career began in avant-garde theatre where, between 1956 and 1962, he wrote over 100 plays. Although he never directed any of these productions, he did dabble in TV and filmmaking in the early 1960s. In 1968, with the release of his first completed feature, the Cassavetes-like Tres tristes tigres (1968… read more
Fascinating script by Ruiz and Bonitzer with a ravishing Deneuve game for its puzzle box structure. Deneuve is quite remarkable here but unfortunately both Piccoli and Poupaud overact this time out. Camera work and set design though subdued are interesting but its the script that sings here with its odd mix of psychology, surrealism and chamber drama. Well worth a watch but not classic Ruiz.
Very reminiscent of some Rivette with its themes of duality, reality vs. illusion, ritual and play, the impossibility of knowing the truth etc. Truly odd film that lingers.
A statement by Ruiz on his “last movie,” La noche de enfrente, and a moving article about Ruiz written by the film’s producer.