After the Reconciliation | Chicago Reader

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A middle-aged couple (Anne-Marie Mieville and her longtime collaborator and companion Jean-Luc Godard) welcome two friends (Claude Perron and Jacques Spiesser) to their elegant Swiss apartment, and their conversation is part philosophical discourse, part flirtation. Each of the hosts harbors feelings for the guest of the opposite sex, and the narrative structure is as stiffly formal as the mise-en-scene, with the four principals often seated in chairs like islands. Mieville, who wrote and directed this salon piece (2000, 74 min.), seems to revel in the artificiality of the dialogue, which comes off as so many bemused aphorisms. Besides the Architectural Digest decor, about the only remarkable aspect of the film is the relaxed and impish Godard, who could be Woody Allen's Swiss cousin. Also on the program is Mieville's short The Book of Mary (1984, 27 min.); an eloquent look at a teenage girl learning to cope with her parents' bickering and separation, it accompanied Godard's Hail Mary during its first theatrical run.

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