Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Inspired by Proust's short story La Prisonniere, renowned filmmaker Chantel Akerman creates this challenging meditation on love, desire, and obsession. The film opens with grainy Super-8 footage showing Ariane (Sylvie Testud) and her female friends rollicking on a beach. Now Ariane lives in third empire splendor in the tony Parisian apartment that her rich significant other Simon (Stanislas Merhar), shares with his grandmother (Francoise Bertin). Simon proves to be a fanatically jealous lover; he subjects her to surveillance and endless questions about her whereabouts. Though Ariane acquiesces to his will, she answers his inquires vaguely to maintain at least a modicum of privacy, which only fuels Simon's suspicions that she is leading a double life as a lesbian. His pain and obsession is further compounded by his own kink: he demands that Ariane be utterly passive (sleeping or pretending to sleep) while he can never quite bring himself to actual physical coupling. When Simon tries to break off the relationship, they end up on a road trip to the sea, resulting in tragic consequences. This film was screened at the Director's Fortnight at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival.
apartment, jealousy, lover, obsession, relationship, road-trip, surveillance, suspicion