La Rencontre

  • 1996
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Experimental

Little things really do mean a lot in this provocative new film, in which director Alain Cavalier attempts to capture something that defies even the most basic description: love. More a film project than a conventional film, Cavalier uses a video camera to record a year in the love life of a couple (in real life the director himself and a woman he met three...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Little things really do mean a lot in this provocative new film, in which director Alain Cavalier attempts to capture something that defies even the most basic description: love. More a film project than a conventional film, Cavalier uses a video camera to

record a year in the love life of a couple (in real life the director himself and a woman he met three months earlier). Rather than having the lovers speak directly of their feelings in the conventional language of amour, Cavalier takes a much more intriguing approach to his elusive

subject: Using long takes during which the camera barely moves, Cavalier focuses on the ephemera of the couple's lives -- a cup of coffee, a heart-shaped stone, a pine cone -- objects that have absorbed meanings, memories and associations in excess of their ordinary significance. A pebble may only

evoke an afternoon spent at the beach, but the contours of a leaf can recall the shape of the lover's back. The coil of a seashell may spark a conversation about hearing loss, while a dead bird can trigger painful memories of a mother's death. There are occasional glimpses of a foot, a hand, a

navel -- body parts rendered as evocatively as the objects themselves -- but the lovers' faces are never shown (we only hear them in a voice-over dialogue). Instead, the perimeters of who they are, as well as the love that fills the spaces between them, begin to take shape. Cavalier's strategy may

sound like an overly formalist treatment of a too-tender subject, but the result is perhaps one of the most intimate films ever made.

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  • Released: 1996
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Little things really do mean a lot in this provocative new film, in which director Alain Cavalier attempts to capture something that defies even the most basic description: love. More a film project than a conventional film, Cavalier uses a video camera to… (more)

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