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Gradiva (2006) @ C'est Gradiva Qui Vous Appelle

"My dear, what the fuck are you doin?"
At a glance:
Gradiva introduces an archaeologist (James Wilby) to us, then sets him off on a chase for mysterious titular girl (doubles up as Leila, played by gorgeous veteran French-American actress Arielle Dombastle) while beddin his slave girl Belkis (Dany Verissimo) at every other go. This pretty much forms the plot for a person watchin it on operational terms. Oh and there's plenty of artsy frontal nudity and S&M violence, which is why it's R21 in Singapore.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Difficult to review Surrealist films, especially when Dali paintings escape even the more curious of the non-commercial cinemagoers today in this region. How then do I make heads and tails of a movie so intentionally disjointed, confusin and artsy such as C'est Gradiva Qui Vous Appelle? Gradiva may be callin all right – but it's very difficult to answer. This octogenarian director apparently makes films that make sense to nobody but himself. Oh wait a minute - it's all over, he died last year.
I can't remember if I cried:
When I realised the story is told with little regard for audience understandin. Which bit is a dream allegory? Which bit is the true timeline? Only director Alain Robbe-Grillet and film students would know, I suppose. To others, Gradiva is a 110-minute long indulgence.
Reminds me of:
The dodgy stadium-style Singaporean cinema I watched it in. Reeked of spunk.
Watch out for:
Dany Verissimo (without which the movie would've been unbearable), the sultry actress you might recognise from District 13 @ Banlieue 13 as pistol-packin Lola. She took off her knickers and stuffed it into some bloke's mouth while pointin the gun at his face, I vaguely recall.
"Why, yes. You're quite right. This movie makes no fuckin sense."
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
One? Perhaps a worthy piece for feminist academic study but even for art house fans, a production such as this is best confined to your collection of quirky DVDs or to the local grindhouse, assumin of course it's the R-rated kind. Can't decide which is the least rewardin watch - The Piano Tuner Of Earthquakes (2005), Gradiva or the paint dryin from my bedroom wall. Then again, Dany Verissimo isn't painted on my bedroom wall.
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