La Rencontre

on September 07, 1996 by Ed Scheid
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         Part of Telluride's tribute to Alain Cavalier, this film displayed the unusual progression of the writer/director's cinematic career. He began with films that starred luminaries like Catherine Deneuve (he called his collaboration with her "my last make-up job") but his approach evolved into the minimalist style of "Therese." Shooting in Hi-8 video ("La Rencontre" was filmed while being projected on a video monitor), Cavalier uses objects and conversations to tell the story of a relationship. hands hold things like a fish or a melon; a man or woman discusses what is being held or gives an anecdote about it. Eventually, the objects begin to acquire emotional connections, as when a dead father's last pair of shoes is described. The photography, also by Cavalier, is impeccable. However, "La Rencontre" would have made a better short film at about a half-hour length; at the current 75 minutes, the accumulation of minute detail becomes monotonous, and the dialogue is unable to make the unseen speakers interesting. Directed and written by Alain Cavalier. Produced by Francoise Widhoff. An Artistic License release. Drama. French-language; English subtitles. Running time: 75 min. Screened at Telluride.
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