Forty-five years after winning the Golden Lion for Last Year at Marienbad, which he wrote and Alain Resnais directed, writer-screenwriter-director Alain Robbe-Grillet is back at the Venice Film Festival.
This time, he is presenting, in the Horizons section, his new film C'est Gradiva qui vous appelle [+see also:
film profile], which was inspired by a Wilhelm Jensen's novel about Gradiva, a bas-relief of a woman from the Roman era who, over the years, has sparked the imagination of scholars such as Freud, as well as director and writers, including Marguerite Duras.
The father of the Nouveau Roman chose to set his story in Morocco, where art historian John Locke (James Wilby) is deepening his research on the Oriental period of French painter Eugene Delacroix. He finds never before seen sketches and designs all of a woman that he’s seen before, in the form of a statue. He thus develops an obsession that will lead him on a dreamlike journey in search of this woman.
"The man,” said Robbe-Grillet at the film’s press conference, “can only have a relationship with a woman made of stone. Real women in everyday life paralyse him". The role of Gradiva is played by Arielle Dombasle, "for whom I wrote this film" added the director.
A French/Belgian co-production between Les Films du lendemain and Z production, C'est Gradiva qui vous appelle is being sold internationally by Wide Management and will be distributed in Italy by Ripley's Film.
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