And So It Grows: The Film, “Wild Grass”

Directed by the man who gave us Last Year at MarienbadAlain ResnaisWild Grass (2010) is an arrantly strange movie in which a nigh elderly man (Andre Dussollier) finds a woman’s stolen purse and, though married, later demands a love affair with the woman (Sabine Azema).  She gives it to him, and the wife doesn’t seem to mind.  But what a lamentable bauble it is!

It is, I think, a fascinating picture which seems to be about the inability of the mind to absorb common, and not so common, experience.  If I’m right—and I’m going to say that I am—this surely is not all it’s about.  Based on a novel called L’incident by Christian Gailly, the film is ever alert to life’s burdensome absurdity (f.y.i., I don’t quite believe in life’s absurdity).  There is a perhaps a parallel between the young girl at the finis who thinks she will become a cat and the Sabine Azema character who thinks she has become Dussollier’s actual lover.

The business with the cat bolsters Armond White’s opinion that Wild Grass offers a “summing up” of pop culture.  The stuff of pop culture is certainly here, albeit how valuable this element is I don’t know.  Regarding the aforementioned young girl, it is as though she is in a TV commercial and yet she is not.  If life is not exactly like this, rest assured that it is like most of the rest that goes on in this bold and wild movie.

(In French with English subtitles)

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