Alain Robbe-Grillet

Author: John Phillips

This book demonstrates that both in terms of the innovative qualities of the work and the influence he has exerted on other film-makers and artists , Alain Robbe-Grillet's contribution to the cinema deserves the same degree of critical attention as that accorded to his novels. Most of the films that bear his name as director are virtually unknown outside a very small coterie of intellectuals and academics. The single exception is L'année dernière à Marienbad which was the product of a collaboration between Robbe-Grillet as scriptwriter and Alain Resnais as director. Robbe-Grillet admits to a strong interest in film soundtracks and the possibilities that these offer for experimental approaches. The structures that Robbe-Grillet draws from expressionistic and pop art and from contemporary music may be considered as expressions of a playful approach to art. Of the ten films directed by Robbe-Grillet, three of them have had oriental settings: Istanbul for L'Immortelle, Djerba for L'Eden et après and Marrakesh for C'est Gradiva qui vous appelle. Robbe-Grillet himself always spoke of eroticism and not pornography, a choice of language designed to position his work ultimately in high culture, satirical intentions justifying the presence of explicit sex and nudity. The most memorable symbol of fetishism in Robbe-Grillet's cinema is perhaps that of the leather-clad Sara Zeitgeist in La Belle captive.

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