Vers Nancy

Vers Nancy ★★★½

There's a scene set on a train near the beginning of High Life that functions largely as exposition, setting up the scenario of the film for the benefit of the audience, but now it looks like an echo of Vers Nancy, and I guess that's what happens during retrospectives (like the one happening for Claire Denis in Toronto right now); films bleed into each other, change the way you see them. It's a small detail, but I find it amusing all the same.

This also functions as a prologue to The Intruder more explicitly than I had imagined, as it lays out a sort of thematic map for the following feature (the two films were screened together, basically forcing them into conversation). Much of the conversation revolves around France as "host" but the feature of course moves in the other direction, a post-colonial narrative with Trebor as "intruder" into other nations, cultures, etc. The conversation around identity is the most fascinating part. I've read a bit of Nancy's work but I've never seen/heard him speak, and he's quite engaging; this could have just kept going and going and I wouldn't have been bored.

The overall structure of the short with Alex Descas and his role is so simple and clever I couldn't stop smiling. (It doesn't hurt that Denis gives Nancy an amusing line of self-deprecating humor as a finishing note.)

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