Loss of Sexual Innocence, The

Mike Figgis’s long-nurtured compendium of autobiographically -linked stories sees him break for experimental ground. Framed by a radical (in)version of the tale of Adam and Eve set in his childhood home of East Africa, it depicts episodes in the life of Nic. It’s a fascinating, brave, teeming inventory/ notebook which, despite occasional melancholy episodes, mostly invokes the spirit of Jean-Luc Godard in its restless, risk-taking energy. It reads in many ways as a child’s lament, something echoed by the emotive use of solo piano and, in the childhood/adolescent sequences, by the saturated colour effects. Style is driven by content. The endgame of Nic’s marriage is shot entirely from outside the window of the farmhouse home; his meeting with twin enigmatic females (Safron Burrows) is imbued with Kieslowskian mystery. Bemusing, for sure, but never less than highly evocative and moving, this is a stimulating, cinematically rich essay/declaration of the heart.

U.K., 1998.
Dolby digital stereo.
110 min.

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