Trois vies et une seule mort

Review, by David Sterritt

These are the successive - and tragically enmeshed - stories of Mateo Strano, a sales representative, who returns to his wife Maria after a prolonged period of absence; of Georges Vickers, renowned professor of Anthropology turned, beggar, who is in love with Tania, a 'maitresse' of Pigalle; and of Luc Allamand, an influential businessman trapped in a gigantic lie which becomes reality. These three tales, part-nightmare, part-comedy, are in fact only one. Our three protagonists are, actually, the same character: a person affected with multiple personality disorder. If this character does indeed possess (at least) three lives, like everyone else he can have but one death : a death which Is inevitably tragic, since a person cannot without impunity live three dtfferent lives.

"This film entangles (in an attempt at structural cubism) several stories that cross paths, fold into each other and blend, in order to reveal themselves as constituting more than a single story. I wanted a clear narrative - as opposed to my other films - at once easy and enjoyable to follow, even if it lacks linearity. The conventional radiophonic narrative, as Pierre Bellemare (acting in the film) has illustrated with passion and brio, gives the film its main theme and structure for what might seem, at first sight, like a collection of short stories (which is not the case at all). Some of the stories that make up the narrative have been borrowed from Hawthorne's work. They all have a striking and mythical character, coming from an anthropological vision. In the same spirit, I wanted, amongst other things, to create a sort of ethnographic document of Paris (read France) in the summertime - even though the majority of the actors are foreign." - Raoul Ruiz

Directed by: Raśl Ruiz
Written by: Pascal Bonitzer, Raśl Ruiz
Starring: Nanni Moretti, Chiara Mastroianni, Melvil Poupaud, Marisa Paredes, Anna Galiena, Marcello Mastroianni, Jean-Yves Gautier, Féodor Atkine, Pierre Bellemare, Lou Castel, Arielle Dombasle, Jacques Pieller
Produced by: Paulo Branco
Original Music by: Jorge Arriagada

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