The Blue Villa

If you’ve read one or more of Alain Robbe-Grillet’s novels but haven’t seen any of his films, you might as well see this one (1994)codirected by Dimitri de Clercq, one of his students, whose father financed itthough it’s pretty much like his others. An enigmatic, occasionally tongue-in-cheek mystery story set on a Greek island, it’s generally more pleasurable for its abstract formal patterns than for its narrativean aesthetic tease without many payoffs. Considering that Robbe-Grillet has been directing his own pictures since 1963, it’s disappointing that he hasn’t varied his routines much, either formally or erotically. Fred Ward and Arielle Dombasle star. (JR)

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