15
Jul
09

Elle est des nôtres (2003)

elleestdesnotresI picked this up, because it was supposedly “One of French Cinema’s boldest debuts in recent memory” (courtesy of Film Comment via the DVD box). While I was surprisingly not bored, this film is a bit of a disappointment, while simultaneously sticking with me over the last few days. It is a very clinical, very formal depiction of a woman who does not fit in with people. The film documents her attempts at making friends, securing a job, getting a boyfriend, etc., but also shows her complete lack of interest in any of these once she has them. Though, everyone seems to like her and they always say nice things about her. It’s like she wants to be a social being, breaking out of a seemingly long, lonely solitude, but when she gets the chance she either gets bored or frustrated with the effort needed to maintain it.
Or maybe she’s Autistic.
Or maybe she’s a sociopath (for reasons I won’t go into here).

elleest_poolThe film never explains any of this, which makes for a very interesting performance by Sasha Andres; her character’s name is rather obtusely named Christine Blanc (as in either blank, as in slate, or white, as in pure?).
This is definitely one of those films that people complain is “too arty” for its own good, meaning any kind of satisfaction you get from it is from your own interpretations and filling-in-the-blanks (which I like, if there’s enough there for me to do so). If I were to recommend the film (which I probably would not), it would be for the unique way it blends the everyday, mundane world (especially of the workplace) into a kind of seemingly stylized un-horror fantasy. There are no monsters here but the self. Here are some of the stills that do the screaming:

elleest1elleest5elleest4elleest3

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