Combustible Celluloid
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With: Laurent Terzieff, Aurelle Doazan, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Nathalie Baye, Claude Brasseur, Johnny Hallyday, Alain Cuny, Xavier Saint-Macary, Pierre Bertin, Alexandra Garijo, Stéphane Ferrara, Emmanuelle Seigner, Eugène Berthier, Julie Delpy
Written by: Alain Sarde, Philippe Setbon, Anne-Marie Miéville, Jean-Luc Godard
Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: French, with English subtitles
Running Time: 95
Date: 08/07/2019

Détective (1985)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Hotel Dooms

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Jean-Luc Godard's weird movie Détective could be described as a comedy, though it's hardly traditionally funny. It's set entirely in a hotel, where former hotel dick Prospero (Laurent Terzieff) is staying, trying to solve the long-cold murder of someone called The Prince. There's another man called The Prince, who is apparently not the same Prince (unless his scenes were flashbacks and I couldn't tell). He seems to be some kind of mobster, forever wandering around the hotel with a little girl in tow. There's also a man trying to settle a debt, a woman who has an affair, a fight promoter, and a young boxer. Emmanuelle Seigner, normally Roman Polanski's muse, plays Princess of the Bahamas, and a young Julie Delpy has her first role in a feature film, playing (I think), the clarinet. Godard dedicates the movie to John Cassavetes, Edgar G. Ulmer and Clint Eastwood, and seems to be deliberately jumbling up American crime movie elements, creating kind of a bizarre pastiche that is, at least, amusing to him. As for the rest of us, though it takes some effort, watching Godard's twisted, ricocheting batch of ideas is usually fascinating, or at least pleasantly puzzling, even if it's never conclusive.

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