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In this section are films that deal with more serious themes, such as crime, passion, troubled romance and hard-hitting human stories.

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  • Elle l'adore

    Elle l'adore

  • Les Anarchistes

    Les Anarchistes

  • Hors la loi

    Hors la loi

  • Un prophete

    Un prophete

  • Mediterranea

    Mediterranea

  • Chaos

    Chaos

  • Jalousie

    La jalousie

  • Suzanne

    Suzanne

  • Au nom de ma fille (Kalinka)

    Au nom de ma fille (Kalinka)

  • Mal de pierres

    Mal de pierres

  • La Proie

    La Proie

  • 11.6

    11.6

  • La prochaine fois je viserai le coeur

    La prochaine fois je viserai le coeur

  • Les cowboys

    Les cowboys

  • Après le sud

    Après le sud

  • Chocolat

    Chocolat

  • L'Atessa

    L'Atessa

  • La fille inconnue

    La fille inconnue

  • Belle de jour

    Belle de Jour

  • La femme tranquille

    La femme tranquille

  • Un peuple et son roi

    Un peuple et son roi

  • Belleville Story

    Belleville Story

  • Nelly

    Nelly

  • 1905

    1905 - The Winds of Passion

  • Frères Ennemis

    Frères Ennemis (Close Enemies)

  • L'Été meurtrier

    L'Été meurtrier

  • Les fantômes d'Israël

    Les fantômes d'Israël

  • Guillaume, la jeunesses du conquérant

    Guillaume, la jeunesse du conquérant

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Les fantômes d'Ismaël
Les fantômes d'Ismaël
I found this film confusing and having subsequently read some reviews find that I'm not alone. It must be said that the reviews weren't great.

Ismaël is a film director whose life seems in crisis. His wife left over 20 years before and is presumed dead, her somewhat unbalanced father, Henri, blaming Ismaël for the loss of his daughter.

A film is in production featuring Ivan, which is also the name of Ismaël's long parted brother. I confused the film Ivan and real Ivan - not a good start, but not that surprising.

Ismaël's descent into despair is halted when he enters into a relationship with the self-declared 'prudish' Sylvia (Charlotte Gainsborough), an astrophysicist none the less. And normality seems to return to his life. But then his wife, Carlotta (Marion Cotillard), returns, first encountering Sylvia on the beach near Ismaël's cottage. Carlotta wants her husband back, notwithstanding that nobody has heard from her for 21 years and that she had married somebody else in India.

From this point things got too complicated for me. Sylvia is driven away by Carlotta. Ismaël again descends into despair occupying an aunt's house where he seems to be literally losing it. And where he ultimately shoots and injures his producer who is desperately trying to convince him to return to the film set.

There's some good acting, as one would expect from Gainsborough and Cotillard, but it was too much hard work trying to comprehend this film. The following quote is perhaps a bit harsh but certainly sums up the feelings of many who have reviewed the film, although I wouldn't go that far.

From the review in the Irish Times:

"Decked out in the classy colours of the high-end French art film, Ismael’s Ghosts is probably easier to enjoy if you make no attempt to fit its disjointed units together. Indeed, those who don’t speak French may prefer to ignore the subtitles and wallow in the pretty pictures and elegant production values. The more you try to make sense of it the more intense your headache will become."
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