List Film

Gardens in Autumn (4 stars)

Gardens in Autumn

(PG) 115min (Artificial Eye DVD retail)


Anyone who’s seen Monday Morning by the Georgian Otar Iosseliani will know he is a filmmaker with a great sense of drift. He’s not interested in plot, but great on spatial texture, ably explored by the great cameraman William Lubtchansky. In Monday Morning he gave us a fresh perspective on Venice; here he scrutinises the incidentals of Paris.

After being fired from his political post, with all its attendant luxuries including a spoiled mistress and a fancy house, our hapless hero Vincent (Séverin Blanchet) returns to normal life and gets back in touch with family and friends from the past. Though Iosseliani obviously has a great feel for the places he films, this hardly makes him a realist. There is a Buñuelian mocking of the political class and an absurdist delight in creating comic set pieces, odd sexual politics and upside-down class and race relations. It even has Michel Piccoli playing Vincent’s mum. Extras include an interview with the director.

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