L’immortelle (1963)

L’IMMORTELLE (1963)
aka The Immortal Woman, Immortal One
Article 2323 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-5-2007
Posting Date: 12-21-2007
Directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Featuring Francoise Brion, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Guido Celano

A man staying in Turkey meets a woman, and they have a love affair. She suddenly disappears. He searches for her, but has no luck. But then one day she reappears…

So let’s get the first question out of the way; what’s the fantastic content in this movie? Frankly, I have no idea. The title seems to imply that immortality plays a part in the proceedings, but I didn’t find any such idea in the movie itself. The trouble is that with a movie like this it’s nearly impossible to tell; it’s French avant-garde cinema, and straight answers to questions are as rare as linear storytelling in this medium. Personally, I suspect there’s no real fantastic content, and the movie was included in one of my sources purely because of the implications in the title. On its own terms, I find it hard to judge the movie, because I”m just not into French avant-garde. The first half of the movie is full of the type of dialogue you expect in movies like this, with the most common answer to any question being “I don’t know”. The second half of the movie is mostly filled with flashbacks that are slightly different to what happened when you first saw the scenes. There’s also lots of scenes of people standing still looking at things. This was the first directorial effort from Alain Robbe-Grillet, who may be best known for having written the screenplay for LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD. If this type of movie sounds like thrilling cinema to you, you’re welcome to it.

 

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