What if our greatest beliefs were also our greatest delusions? According to the ageing widower, Michel, they absolutely are—but that’s okay. A life without dreams is not worth living. Jean-Claude Brisseau’s latest film, The Girl from Nowhere, is a kind of dream itself. The beautiful, languid film lulls its audience into a trance-like state with a mix of realism and absurdism. It also depicts one of the most unique movie love stories in years. Making its North American debut as part of this year’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema festival, the film has already garnered the Golden Leopard award at the 2012 Locarno film festival.
The film’s central character, Michel (played by director Brisseau himself), sees his solitary existence suddenly veer off-course when the mysterious young Dora (Virginie Legeay) is literally thrown onto his front stoop. Michel and Dora take to each other immediately—she craves his unwavering, father-like affection, and he covets the youthful energy she breathes into the philosophical book he is writing. The film is set almost exclusively in Michel’s Parisian apartment, but the palpable chemistry between the two keeps the audience riveted. Dora reveals little about her past, but it becomes clear that she is touched by the paranormal; ghostly episodes that occur intermittently throughout the film are at once both chilling and hilarious thanks to clever dialogue and Michel’s plucky attitude towards the metaphysical. The Girl from Nowhere is a moving, surprisingly humorous film that will provoke its audience to confront their own mortality.
The Girl from Nowhere opens March 2nd at the Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. For ticket information, please visithttp://www.filmlinc.com/films/series/rendez-vous-with-french-cinema.