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Showing posts from June, 2011

La Question Humaine

After five months' silence...

Anyway. Nicolas Klotz's La Question Humaine (2007), released in the UK as Heartbeat Detector, is presented on the dvd box blurb as a near-future dystopia in the the tradition of Godard's Alphaville, a film that uses contemporaneous Paris as a setting for a narrative that seems to be set on another world. Klotz's film self-consciously restricts the viewer's perception of a wider world: the narrative is limited to office buildings, nondescript urban streets, and one short automobile ride taken by a secondary character to a car park, where he is left by his chauffeur. While the plate-glass, overlit offices resemble the kind of architectural indices used by Alan J. Pakula's paranoid conspiracy movies in the early- to mid-1970s (Klute, The Parallax View, All The President's Men) to signify a cultural and political pathology at work, what La Question Humaine seems to probe in its first hour is a Ballardian anomie. The film's prota…