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2014 11 07, plucked from Movie Monthly Archive
This movie, this actress got under my skin.
More than a little weird, I’ll say a couple of things:
Hadewijch was the name of a medieval Dutch religious. This movie takes place in contemporary Paris, very contemporary: arabs, blacks galore. This girl joins a nunnery, names herself Hadewijch: wants to suffer, ’cause she loves God so, loves Jesus, that is. The nunnery gets rid of her, too mystical, too religious, too spiritual, too faithful: too masochistic. Immature, crazy.
Back home we see she comes from a mansion, her father is a minister in the government, the mansion is almost like Versailles. Now Hadewijch is Céline again. She meets some Arab boys, from projects outside Paris. The guys put moves on her, gently. Once she clarifies that she’s a virgin, her body is for Jesus, she’ll remain a virgin, thank you, they got along OK, except it’s her friends older brother, a teacher of Islam that she responds to most. Meantime, some other guy goes to jail, gets out, fixes the convent’s masonry roof with his shirt off.
We see Céline with her shirt off, and her pants off: nice shelf of an ample heine. Her tits are little but cute: now picture that with that beautiful, mournful face! Further picture: every time we see her, a bit more of her nipples are showing. When she goes to Muslim class her shirt might as well be wet. Meantime she vows friendship with these project guys, these Muslims. Intercut everywhere, we see her palace, we see cafes blowing up, like Ireland, or Baghdad, in Paris, we see her unable to take any more, she descends into the pond, in over her head, bubble bubble, and here comes the shirtless masonry guy with the crooked teeth. He fetches her to the surface, hugs her, she hugs him.
I love it. The ambiguities are rich. I love religious excess in any event. I am myself a religious ascetic, a nut, proud of it. Oh, that’s not all I am: I’m many things.
I love the interchangeability of fundamentalist weirdness here. I just saw another movie, The Piano Teacher, where we hear Protestant Bach in an RC cathedral. We kist watched Tarkovsky doing things with music, murals, architecture, female beauty, art beauty, male beauty … I love the overlap between sainthood and terrorism: the blur of God and Allah … Great stuff. Gotta see more by this guy, Bruno Dumont. Especially wonderful in the wake of The Piano Teacher, In Bruges, Nostalghia … In the former Isabelle Huppert seems super sensible with Schubert, but is utterly nuts when it comes to fucking, can’t get anything right: yet somehow it’s all the same: perversion, Schubert, raping her mother … Vow loyalty and blow up the cafe.
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