This so inspires the painter that he works 19 hours straight on a new canvas, neglecting his musician g.f. (Bettina Giovannini) in the bargain. An accident at a sporting event and a murder (at the fetchingly named “666 Club”) follow, each grisly event leading to fabulous paintings that sell like hot cakes to enigmatic wealthy folks.
A local cop (Luca Zingaretti) is intrigued by the uncanny detail in Nicolas’ canvases, and a randy painter’s model (Isabelle Pasco) takes an intense carnal interest in Nic as pic unfolds.
There’s something inherently appealing about reworking “Faust” with an escape clause, but New Wave-era vet Alain Jessua paints the action with strictly utilitarian strokes. Pic surges to life only via intercutting when Nicolas imagines a painting take shape while witnessing a live crisis.
Thesps get the story across without undue fuss, and stuntwork and accompanying lensing are also effective. Jazz wiz Michel Portal’s odd syncopated score is as inventive as the dialogue is pedestrian.