Anatomy Of A Relationship

Luc Moullet remains an unsung hero among the Cahiers du Cinema critics who turned to filmmaking, and this 1975 feature, part of a monthlong retrospective of his work at the Gene Siskel Film Center, provides a succinct introduction to his special brand of low-budget cinema. A restaging of his abortive sexual relationship with Antonietta Pizzorno (who cowrote and codirected but, unlike Moullet, appears only in the finale), it’s painfully, hilariously, and graphically honest, and its willful rejection of technique is an implicit critique of slickness. Moullet was the only rural, proletarian, and anarchist member of the New Wave, and at Cahiers he became poet laureate of the American B movie, introducing French readers to Sam Fuller, Gerd Oswald, Douglas Sirk, and Edgar G. Ulmer. He maintains a healthy contempt for all the pretensions that money and prestige can buy and burrows into his subjects like an unruly gopher. His movies are sweet, funny, distressing, and strangely noblea powerful antidote to the self-important romantic psychodramas of Ingmar Bergman and Woody Allen. In French with subtitles. 82 min. (JR)

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