Deux fois

This seminal 63-minute experimental film by French director Jackie Raynal kicks off Facets Multimedia Center’s weeklong retrospective on the “Zanzibar collection,” a group of mainly political films financed by heiress Sylvina Boissonnas between 1968 and ’70. Raynal, a film editor working for most of the French New Wave directors, made Deux fois in black-and-white 35-millimeter during a visit to Barcelona and its environs, with herself as the main performer in practically every sequence. Instead of a story it offers a flow of sequential events that formally rhyme with each other, so that the title (“two times”) becomes a succinct reference to her method–though some things in the film appear three, four, or five times, always with distinct variations. Years later, faced by a team of feminist film theorists, Raynal admitted that the film is partially about “the representation of the image of woman as a sign,” but apparently in the more footloose, less gender-conscious 60s she was more interested in exploring the sexy forms of duplicity between various sequences, their secret points of accord and strongest points of tension. It’s a film about coupling (a man appears with Raynal in many of the sequences) but also about flirting with camera and spectator alike. If I wanted to convey the excitement of France in 1968, this brave, pleasure-driven provocation would undoubtedly carry me part of the way. Raynal and series curator Sally Shafto will attend the Saturday screening. Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Chicago, Friday, October 13, 7:00; Saturday, October 14, 8:45; Monday, October 16, 7:00; and Wednesday, October 18, 8:30; 773-281-4114.

–Jonathan Rosenbaum

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