Sublime: Boy Meets Girl
Written and directed by Leos Carax
Produced by Patricia Moraz, Alain Dahan
Starring Denis Lavant, Mireille Perrier, Carroll Brooks
By cunning and chance pro rata, a dejected draftee (Lavant) and suicidal model (Perrier) meet at a soiree hosted by an American socialite (Brooks) on the tenth anniversary of her husband's demise. Both are freshly jilted, but as he rebounds from heartbreak enamored anew, her fixation on her former paramour effects unrequited consequences to fatality. Contrasting luminous whites against pitch blacks and rich grays, Jean-Yves Escoffier's magnificent photography's at least as prominent as Carax's perennially preferent leading man in a foray minimally plotted but rife with representative articles and acts coupling people with their rancor, longing, morbidity and love. With devices plucked from silent pictures and the nouvelle vague's inceptive classics, he expresses as much with urban atmospheres in which his characters loiter as monologies voicing passions and vacillations in thought and spoken diffusion. In either capacity, his leads are terrific: puggish Lavant's expressivity engages in idle silence, or when volubly effusive to Perrier's brooding reception. For whoever isn't occupied by the human drama, every scene boasts an eyeful, such as a metaphoric moment when identical twins prepare photocopies, or a drifting shot scanning a synchronic sketch of Paris adumbrated by Lavant's dreamer on his apartment's wall, whereupon locations of personal significance are dated and annotated. Carax would recycle his amatorian themes and principals in his tremendous Mauvais Sang a couple years later, but wears his heart on the sleeve of Lavant's ethos in this woolly debut to its conclusive, tragic twist.
Recommended for a double feature paired with Mauvais Sang.