The Captive(CA Retro)
An adaptation of Marcel Proust’s literary epic Remembrances of Things Past, Chantal Akerman’s The Captive is less a meticulously mounted period piece oozing in melancholy – à la Volker Schlöndorff’s Swann In Love and Raúl Ruiz’s Time Regained – and more an intense exploration of the raw, toxic nature of masculine human desire. Stanislas Merhar plays Simon, a young domineering man who seeks total control of the life of his girlfriend Ariane (Sylvie Testud), to the point that he has to know every detail of her comings and goings, and could only have sex with her when she’s asleep. Or at least when she’s pretending to be, anyway: belying her submissive veneer lies a woman with her own ideas, emotions and needs. It’s a secretive side which Simon couldn’t stomach, something which leads to the gradual implosion of the relationship and his own self. Offering taut drama that’s fizzing with frisson, The Captive unleashes a sensuality Akerman rarely lets loose on screen.
Stanislas Merhar, Sylvie Testud, Aurore Clément