Could have been subtitled, “Watch Revolutionary Sentiment Erode, for Three Hours” — but don’t let that keep you from giving it a go. Your patience will surely be tested, but many a harrowing work delivers equal parts frustration and gratification, and Garrel’s profoundly sober direction elicits both emotions, often simultaneously. There’s a fair amount of dead time (imagine Sympathy for the Devil footage sans the cluttered audio track, and that’s something like the first hour or so), but then the film dramatizes the glacial dissolution of radical ideals in a post-revolutionary climate, and you can’t rush that sort of project. Probably the both-exasperating-and-thrilling tenor of the film is what has many critics recalling Eustache and Pialat, but I think Garrel’s is a much icier sensibility, albeit not void of the compassion for his subjects that distinguishes those two masters. And yet as many have observed, this is a first-rate period piece that wouldn’t seem out of place situated between Masculin Feminin and La maman et la putain in a history book; Garrel’s treatment is all but unmarked by contemporary devices, and his film is a testament to the vitality of late nouvelle vague mise-en-scene. Is it a narcissistic work? Yes. Would I watch it again in the near future? Not unless I were feeling particularly cine-masochistic. Should interested persons drink lots of coffee and watch it in utter darkness, perhaps alone? Probably. This is spectral cinema if I’ve ever seen it, maddening and memorable.