A man calling himself Boris, arrives in a village in Central Europe, claiming to have been a friend of a local lad who disappeared since the war. His conflicting tale gives rise to doubts about his story.
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The most dense and impenetrable of ARG's experiments with unreliable storytellers and the malleability of narrative form. Visually indebted to the work of the Czech New Wave, the stark black & white imagery, crumbling architecture and wide-angle lenses distort the perspective of the story; making it even more difficult for the viewer to differentiate between the layers of truth and fiction, dream and nightmare, etc.
This is the last film Robbe-Grillet made without the naked ladies. After this film he lost his goddamn mind. It's not quite as good as 'Trans-Europ Express' mainly for the reason that it takes itself too seriously. It's about the problem of collaboration with the Germans during WWII.
As the other pillar of Resnais' fusion of memory/imagination/reality/history this film by Robbe-Grillet pushes to extremes the duplications and redoubling of characters (of post WWII angst) and thus creates a labyrinth of entrapment and zig zag (de)formations of consciousness, sexual desire, bourgeois superficiality, all around the hero/traitor axis. Cold and cerebral it is nonetheless formally brilliant!
Stunning, provocative, dreamy, clever, just a few words I could use to describe this film. The dream logic and schizophrenic jumping within this film could have turned into a disastrous mess, but handled so confidently by Robbe-Grillet, it feels authentic and very well constructed without appearing random and senseless, which surely was the danger. I can't wait to see more of Robbe-Grillet's films now.
Robbe-Grillet al cien por cien.
La película comienza con mi idolatrado Jean-Louis Trintignant, perfectamente engalanado, corriendo por un bosque para escapar de los tiros de unos soldados. La lía cuando se presenta como "Boris, aunque normalmente me llaman Jean, y otras El ucraniano".