Apres la Reconciliation

Jean-Luc Godard’s long-time partner and collaborator, Ann-Marie Mieville here directs her fourth feature, in which she and Godard both star. Apres la reconciliation is a heady philosophical drama in which four people discuss love and life, learning and revealing more about each other in the process than they ever imagined possible. A middle-aged woman (Mieville) and her younger friend Cathos (Claude Perron) return with the elderly Robert (Godard) to a Paris apartment. After Cathos makes a vain attempt to seduce Robert, the older woman steps out to buy cigarettes. She soon returns with an attractive young sailor. The foursome begin discussing philosophy, literature and their own intertwined relationships. As Godard and Mieville open up about the failings of their own romance, some nerves are frayed and others smoothed.
‘Godard Cries!’ exclaimed one reviewer, and weep he does in this ‘talking heads’ love story. ‘I hope you’re not counting on love to make you happy,’ he blurts out at one point amidst the intellectual banter. The film reveals a softer side to Godard than the gnomic figure with which most people are familiar. Mieville, who has been an enormous influence on the maestro over the years, has made a brave and challenging film about mature love, the importance of language, the resilience of nature and the way cultured individuals mark their territory.
Switzerland-France, 2001. English subtitles. Black and white/Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 75 min.

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