The Talking Cure


Best known for her collaborations with Jean-Luc Godard, which include Numéro Deux (1975) and a series of experimental essays for television in the ’70s, Swiss director Anne-Marie Miéville’s own cinema is visually traditional compared to these aggressively multimedia endeavors. Like Godard’s, her films are investigations of love, language, and existential meaning, worked out through the endless conversations of urbane, intellectual bourgeois whose dispassionate patter occasionally erupts into hesitant emotional outbursts.

Her first solo feature, Mon Cher Sujet (1988), follows three women of different ages through romantic travails. Lou N’a Pas Dit Non (1993) chronicles Lou, an analytical film director, and her former lover, Pierre. Godard acts in two recent films that stage heated philosophical dialogs in parlor-room settings. In both, JLG plays an aging curmudgeon. For Nous Sommes Tous Encore Ici (1997), he dons a ridiculous chapeau; in Après la Réconciliation (2000), he weeps. These also include female director-philosopher stand-ins for Miéville; this indirect autobiographical aspect grounds her otherwise ultra-dry films, which, like their characters, coldly connect through end-less self-analysis.