Directed by Philippe Garrel • Documentary • With Clotilde Courau, Stanislas Merhar, Lena Paugam • 2017 • 73 minutes
The new film by the great Philippe Garrel (previously seen at the NYFF with Regular Lovers in 2005 and Jealousy in 2013) is a close look at infidelity-not merely the fact of it, but the particular, divergent ways in which it's experienced and understood by men and women. Stanislas Merhar and Clotilde Courau are Pierre and Manon, a married couple working in fragile harmony on Pierre's documentary film projects, the latest of which is a portrait of a resistance fighter (Jean Pommier). When Pierre takes a lover (Lena Paugam), he feels entitled to do so, and he treats both wife and mistress with disengagement bordering on disdain; when Manon catches Pierre in the act, her immediate response is to find common ground with her husband. Garrel is an artist of intimacies and emotional ecologies, and with IN THE SHADOW OF WOMEN he has added narrative intricacy and intrigue to his toolbox. The result is an exquisite jewel of a film.
"Few filmmakers explore the mysteries of coupledom as touchingly as post-Nouvelle Vague maestro Philippe Garrel."—The Village Voice
"Critics' Pick! In the high-contrast, black-and-white, wide-screen images, Garrel captures creative and erotic passions with a spontaneous classicism and a monumental poise."—The New Yorker