Simone Barbes or Virtue


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Simone Barbes or Virtue
Simone Barbès ou la vertu | Marie-Claude Treilhou, 1980
France | French | Format: 35mm w/ electronic subtitles | 77 minutes


Skorecki, again: “In this sumptuous film, there are as many stories as there are characters, mismatched characters who carry around the pieces of their past in imaginary backpacks. So many memories evoked without artifice, without flashbacks, without confessions. We divine them frontally, in a glance, a smile, a faltering voice, an interior stammer. Simone Barbes or Virtue proves that we can reconcile “le fantastique social” (or poetic realism, if you prefer) with the formal daring of the New Wave.” Like Wakamatsu’s United Red Army, Treilhou’s first movie is constructed in three parts. Each part takes place in a single set: a porn theater, a nightclub, a car. In the last part, Michel Delahaye does with his moustache what François Léotard does with his scar in Rouge-gorge. Some things just disappear like that. Secret imposture or blessed humiliation? Anyway, like the Blossoms used to sing, “that’s when the tears start.”

—Serge Bozon

Series: Free Radicals: Serge Bozon and the New French Cinema

Venue: Walter Reade Theater

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