Sunday, February 08, 2009

French Films

I saw two films in the somewhat recent French Film Festival here in Dublin. One was Le Capitaine Achab, a fllm telling the life story of Captain Ahab from Moby Dick. It was an odd film… ultimately not that good, one would have to say, but beautifully shot. If ever a film could be carried by its art direction then this is it.

The other film was called Inju, la Bête dans l'Ombre*, directed by Barbet Schroeder. This seemed to be a French-Japanese team-up and was based on a short story by Edogowa Rampo (the guy who was such a big fan of Edgar Allan Poe that he took his name). In the film, this French crime writer finds himself ensnared in a battle of wills against Inju, a mysterious Japanese author who never allows himself to be photographed and who has only ever once been seen by anyone from his publishing house. It then bops along the way you would imagine – pervy voyeuristic sex, ironic reversals, confusions over identity, and so on. I liked it a lot, though the twist at the end was maybe a bit obvious – even with that it managed to maintain an enjoyable atmosphere of creepy suspense. It made me interested also in trying to track down some books by Edogowa Rampoi, though I fear they may be out of print in English.

*Inju, Creature in the Shadow

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