Woman Powdering Herself, A (La Femme qui se Poudre)

Rental Format(s): 16mm

The Logic of a Nightmare

"Yet it's very much like a new masterpiece that blazes its own trail without resembling anything else that has been seen before (although you could claim a vague family resemblance with Goya or German expressionism). But whatever one wants to analyze or not analyze in this film, it is a work which disturbs one deeply. The music (by Michele Bokanowski) is pitched high, as if synthesized from the whistling wind; it's the sound a flying saucer might make along with Tibetan trumpets and overheard bits and pieces of people talking in a language you don't understand. You wonder how everything you are looking at was fabricated. There are a few double exposures, or else 'real people' wearing grotesque Frankenstein-like masks or stockings over their faces. They are either filmed through a dirty glass or else they metamorphose into drawings (a character can be drawn or else volumes come into focus and assemble themselves into a weird and yet coherent form): as a result, the space the film is describing is being constantly scrambled; it's a film without any floor in it and, as a spectator, when you are watching it, even if you are comfortably seated, your own seat leaves the ground. One notices these briefly passing creatures (one of which is, yes, a woman powdering herself) slowly and deliberately undertaking acts you don't quite understand, but which are clearly of a ghastly nature (perhaps a murder?); one watches two 'real' characters suddenly change into ink spots while a bombardment of drawn or painted meteorites explodes on what might be the 'earth'; one looks at somebody pouring coffee into a full cup which then overflows into an endlessly dark and ink-like trail; at which point you say to yourself that what is going on here, in this black and upsetting film, has the logic of a nightmare."
- Dominique Noguez

Rental Fees

16mm $72.00  

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