Looking and sounding like an Anglophone French art movie, "The Girl" is a faux-poetic Sapphic yarn that's strictly for card-carrying fans of lesbian writer Monique Wittig, here co-scripting her first English-lingo novel. Pretentious dialogue is matched by equally uninvolving performances in this debut feature by Sande Zeig, founder of noted N.Y. specialty distrib Artistic License.

Looking and sounding like an Anglophone French art movie, “The Girl” is a faux-poetic Sapphic yarn that’s strictly for card-carrying fans of lesbian writer Monique Wittig, here co-scripting her first English-lingo novel. Pretentious dialogue is matched by equally uninvolving performances in this debut feature by Sande Zeig, founder of noted N.Y. specialty distrib Artistic License.

Boyish-looking The Painter (Agathe de la Boulaye) hooks up with glamorous nightclub chanteuse The Girl (Claire Keim) for a one-night stand that becomes something more regular when The Painter starts hanging around The Girl’s Paris apartment. The Painter has a black (ex?)-lover, Bu Save (Sandra N’Kake), to whom she confesses her obsession with The Girl; meanwhile, The Girl carries on seeing men to advance her career, and has a strange relationship with a violent type, The Man (Cyril Lecomte), whom The Painter tries to ward off. With De la Boulaye, perpetually wearing a white shirt and black suit, mostly limited to moody voiceover and moony looks, majority of dialogue is declaimed by Keim, in gushy love talk. Lensing of Paris locations is clean and sharp, and copious sack scenes moderately frank.

The Girl

Production

An Artistic License Films production, in association with Method Films (Paris) and Hollywood Prods. (International sales: Artistic License, N.Y.) Produced by Dolly Hall. Executive producers, Sue Delisle, Gil Donaldson. Co-producer, Claude Martin. Directed by Sande Zeig. Screenplay, Zeig, Monique Wittig, based on the novella by Wittig.

Crew

Camera (color), George Lechaptois; editors, Geraldine Peroni, Keiko Deguchi; associate editor, Karen Sim; music, Richard Robbins; production designer, Phillipe Renucci. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Discovery), Sept. 10, 2000. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Claire Keim, Agathe de la Boulaye, Cyril Lecomte, Sandra N'Kake, Ronald Guttman, Cyrille Hertel, Pascal Cervo, Franck Prevost.

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