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The Inner Scar

(La cicatrice intérieure)
France 1972. Dir: Philippe Garrel. 60 min. 35mm

NEW 35mm PRINT! The chief collaboration between then-lovers Philippe Garrel and Nico is a transfixing fever-dream hallucination of the finest, freakiest vintage. Conceived by Garrel while Nico was writing and recording material for her landmark 1970 record Desertshore — the album’s ethereal music scores the film — this long unavailable, of-the-era art object features the songstress, the director, and a full-frontal Pierre Clémenti (who also appears in Garrel’s The Virgin’s Bed) wandering through a series of barren landscapes in a pre- (or post-) modern world. Garrel and co., filming on location in Sinai, Death Valley, and Iceland, reportedly improvised their (deliberately un-subtitled) dialogue moments before action. The long, austere, exquisitely choreographed tracking shots belie the film’s free-form approach. “One mustn't ask yourself questions while watching ... It should be watched for pleasure, as one can take pleasure from walking in the desert” (Garrel). Nouvelle vague godfather Henri Langlois called it a “total masterpiece.”


"As antithetical as can be to the '70s France that his contemporaries were depicting during the post-New Wave era ... Positively otherworldly."

Brooklyn Magazine | full review