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A TOUT DE SUITE

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Benoît Jaquot's drama about a bourgeois art student's sojourn in the underworld has philosophical concerns -- What is the true life? being one -- but it's such riveting cinema you might not immediately notice. The never-named young heroine (played by Isild le Besco) falls for a handsome crook, and after a deadly botched bank job they and another couple become international fugitives. The dialogue is minimal, soundtrack music almost nil; shot in grainy black and white for a verité feel, A Tout de Suite is an almost casually intense story of doomed romance and innocence lost, the particulars of its setting (1970s Paris, Tangiers, Athens) made universal by Jacquot's masterly touch. Many French new-wave references will spring to mind, but while there's nothing new under the sun, the camerawork is scintillating, and le Bisco's dreamy concupiscence enthralls, as when Jacquot shoots her watching a bullfight with appalled fascination. In French, with subtitles. Starts Fri., Dec. 16. Regent Square (BO)

 

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