Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. France/Germany/Japan, 2001. Arte France Cinema, ARTE, Canal+, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Dacia Films, Kinetique, Messaouda Films, Rézo Films, Rezo Productions, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen. Screenplay by Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau. Cinematography by Agnes Godard. Produced by Georges Benayoun, Philippe Liegeois, Jean-Michel Rey. Music by Tindersticks. Production Design by Arnaud de Moleron. Costume Design by Judy Shrewsbury, Caroline Tavernier. Film Editing by Nelly Quettier. Cannes Film Festival 2001. Toronto International Film Festival 2001.
Claire Denis makes her way into the world of horror with his moody, sexy drama. Vincent Gallo and Tricia Vessey have arrived in Paris for their honeymoon, but their bliss is short-lived by his needing to keep up with medical contacts about their genetic experiments that seem to be turning people feral. It’s not an action movie, it’s an emotional piece that just happens to have the odd, blood-smeared wall, making the allegory of lovemaking as cannibalism about as subtle as a screaming zombie. Denis is far too intelligent a filmmaker to make so blatant a statement without still infusing it with subtext, so the main disappointment with this one is that the characters don’t have the resonance that her personalities often do, while the visuals are not as rich as in her best films. That she made something so challenging after the triumph of her critically acclaimed Beau Travail, however, and didn’t seek out a more widespread audience, speaks highly of her integrity.