Alain Robbe-Grillet (French pronunciation: [alɛ̃ ʁɔb ɡʁiˈje]) (18 August 1922 – 18 February 2008), was a French writer and filmmaker. He was, along with Nathalie Sarraute, Michel Butor and Claude Simon, one of the figures most associated with the Nouveau Roman (new novel) trend. Alain Robbe-Grillet was elected a member of the Académie française on March 25, 2004, succeeding Maurice Rheims at seat No. 32. He was married to Catherine Robbe-Grillet (née Rstakian).
Alain Robbe-Grillet was born in Brest, (Finistère, France) to a family of engineers and scientists. He was trained as an agricultural engineer. During the years 1943 and 1944, Robbe-Grillet participated in compulsory labor in Nuremberg, where he worked as a machinist. The initial few months were seen by Robbe-Grillet as something of a holiday, since, in-between the very rudimentary training he was given to operate the machinery, he had free time to go to the theatre and the opera. In 1945, Robbe-Grillet completed his diploma… read more
I've discovered that this and four other films by Alain Robbe-Grillet will be getting their first official DVD releases at some point. Wanting to re-evaluate this film, this is great news - http://mondomacabrodvd.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/more-robbe-grillet-coming-in-2013.html#comment-form
Fifty years after the fact, some of the meta-fictional, story-within-a-story stuff comes of as a little too cute, but the fact that the film has a sense of humor from the start helps offset this effect. And there are many dazzling shots, especially those of the actors pausing to stare straight on into the camera and break the fourth wall—suspended moments where the viewer isn't sure just what to make of it all.
Proof that Robbe-Grillet could be Oulipo-hilarious as well as Nouveau Roman po-faced. On the evidence of this film he was no threat to Queneau in terms of richness and complexity of yucks, but T.E.E. is no less fun for that. Even after decades of self-referential cinema -- both experimental and less so, successful and much less so -- this madcap crime-caper delivers an effective metanarrative high, avec venom.