It's hard to imagine this beginning as a novel - you might as well call it a silent film. Denis' interest in a primarily visual language gives the film its seductive intent; here she successfully conveys through form an idea of desire which has characterised her last few films. It functions as both city symphony and intimate romance, extremes. And of course she never recieves her dues as a sexy filmmaker.
A voir pour la caméra amoureuse & caressante de DENIS sur Valérie LEMERCIER, fragile, irrésistible, aux jambes sublimes ... LINDON fume, aussi sexy qu'un pavé sur lequel on a écrasé un mégot - est poétiquement chiant === Just for DENIS loving camera caressing Valérie LEMERCIER, fragile, irresistible, her sublime legs... The rest is poetically boring & LINDON as sexy as a pad on which someone has crushed a cigarette.
Political tract: workers strike---the most radical catalyst affected is by a political dyad, a man/a woman, a couple, estranged civil war. Inscribes the body delicately on surfaces, attentively/affectionately--: a kind glance behind tangled hair. Elaborates Akerman's Toute une nuit, recondite paean, celebratory incidents meshing in anonymity/self emerging: affirming volition, sensuality against politics of isolation.
This is bliss.
It was bound to be a disastrous night, with the traffic and the strike going on, but as our heroine takes more chances, her night becomes magical, figuratively and literally (with a number of objects moving on their own).
Small talk ruins romances, the brief encounter is nothing but lovely and pleasant, and there are no regrets and no preaches about the immorality of adultery.
Cinema Verite as the Transcendental Experience. Claire Denis is the master of anthropological voyeurism. She gifts us her memories - her cinematographic albums of passenger exposures. She is the ultimate sentimentalist - delicate and immortal. She drapes over her subjects as though ghost over living companion.
Typically sensuous from Denis with fantastic performances from the two leads. The opening music to the film (by Tindersticks I think) has always stayed with me. It just sets the atmosphere up beautifully.