Anna (Binoche), top, Marc (Piccoli) and Alex (Lavant), center, and Elise (Delpy), bottom.
Photos courtesy of Metropolis Cinema
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The "odd thing" about this moment isn't DP Jean Yves Escoffier's tracking shot, which critics prize as a highlight of Carax's film and '80s cinema generally.Whether you agree with this assessment or not, Carax's work provides an engaging bridge between classic Nouvelle Vague and the dizzying diffusion that marks contemporary moving images – from glossy high-definition video employed in music video, electronic art and art-house cinema, to muddier film and film-emulating cinema and art work.It was the opening work of "Retrospective Michel Piccoli," the art cinema's latest film cycle to focus on the work of a golden age film star, rather than a director.Individual critics may be predisposed to cinematography or writing but the institution of film criticism has erected the cult of the director.So it can be useful when a programmer designs a film retrospective that hinges on a single actor rather than a director.Popular actors like Piccoli tend to work with strong directors, allowing bookish filmgoers an opportunity to see if their performances are noticeably different from one director to the next – or if all actors are variations on a theme of John Cusack.
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