Le monde vivant | The Living World
DIRECTOR: Eugène Green | WRITER: Eugène Green | CAST: Adrien Michaux, Alexis Loret, Christelle Prot, Laurène Cheilan | France
Everything I wrote about Eugène Green’s Toutes les nuits is almost equally true of Le monde vivant, his second feature-length film. Rather than rehash the overwhelming presence of Bresson’s films — specifically L’argent, which is alluded to in shot after shot — or describe in detail Green’s own idiosyncrasies and stylistic quirks I’ll just point to what I wrote before. I can’t decide whether I think Green’s extreme stylization works better here — Le monde vivant is very much a fairy tale with the stock characters and stilted, overly formal language of fairy tales — or in the ostensibly more realistic Toutes les nuits. In any case, Le monde vivant is a fairy tale illustrating quite explicitly the very French notion that language creates reality and it’s to Green’s credit that he takes the idea seriously even as he makes fun of it — Jacques Lacan himself is even the butt of a joke. And that’s one thing Le monde vivant has going for it: it’s actually funny. The four leads in this film were also the leads in the earlier film and they appear a bit looser, more accustomed to Green’s style, and they all make a favorable impression, but taking into account everything I’d have to say that Le monde vivant is entertaining but slight. But boy oh boy, Alexis Loret sure is easy on the eyes.
NOTE: Cahiers du Cinéma has a nice collection of short pieces on the movie here.