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POLYGRAPHE, LE

SYNOPSIS:
Lucie (Brassard) gets her first film acting role in a docudrama by Judith (DeschÍnes
) playing Marie-Claire Judithís friend and the victim of an unsolved murder two years earlier. Lucie is shocked when she learns that her neighbour, Francois (Goyette) was the dead womanís lover - and even more shocked when she learns he is still a suspect. She is drawn further into the vortex of the unsolved murder when she accidentally meets Christof (Stormare), the East German refugee who performed the autopsy on Marie-Claire. Francois confesses to her that he is himself uncertain of his innocence and is therefore terrified of the lie detector test the police demand. Doubting his own memory, Francois also doubts his girlfriend, Claude (de Medeiros) who loves him and provided his alibi for the night of the murder.

"Strange film, this: I came out not sure if I liked it at all, despite some marvellous elements in it, but by next day, I had grown fond of the things that I was critical of before. Like its refusal to spell things out, its ambiguities and its complex structure. On reflection, these are the very things that make The Polygraph so effective as cinema. Canadian though it is, the influences are Hitchcock and perhaps Nouvelle Vague; Lepage suggests scenarios but leaves much of them open for us to swill around in our cinematic brain. Images are his tools, so he works them, like the scenes in the restaurant where Francois works: the action around him is speeded up, as if life was rushing past him while his burdens weighed him down. It certainly adds visual interest. The film opens with a remarkably effective scene of Francois taking the lie detector test, a sequence which Lepage manages to make intense, even before we know who or why. He lets the tension dissipate for a while, but picks it up again towards the last third of the film, aided by a superb cast and excellent camerawork. The music is a significant part of the filmís mood, and the criss-crossing storyline works well as a device to make the film at once intriguing but accessible for mainstream audiences. Excellent film to see before a fine meal and a long conversation about The Polygraph."
Andrew L. Urban

"Intriguing from the outset, Le Polygraphe combines creative and imaginative direction with compelling performances. Put together a little like a jigsaw puzzle, the film consists really of four different stories; these are carefully edited and juxtapositioned with each other, allowing our eventual clear-sighted vision of the whole picture to evolve gradually in order to understand their connection. The characters are very different and are introduced gradually: we are allowed to get to know them intimately. The direction is innovative; I love the scenes where the main characters are in real time, while the world stands still around them, either inconsequentially in fast motion, or in heavy slow-motion. The sound is excellent, and the rousing music score, which at times emulates heart beat, colours the mood. Sure to appeal to the lover of art-cinema, there is much to appreciate in this beautifully made film. It has a haunting quality, that deserves and warrants reflection. There is a sense of mystery that raises the question of secrecy and how the contents of the soul is always a complete mystery."
Louise Keller

"It all sounds fascinating, and the idea is wonderful, that line between what is truth and what isn't. But great ideas and powerful intellect don't necessarily make a good film, and once you dig deep into Le Polygraph you get little more than a pretentious bore. The film has no semblance of structure, characters are so under-defined that they may not as well be there, and while it's more accessible than the director's first film, it's still a cold and unapproachable work, with pretensions of complexity."
Paul Fischer

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POLYGRAPHE, LE (M)
(France)

CAST: Marie Brassard, Peter Stormare, Patrick Goyette, Maria de Medeiros, James Hyndman, Jose DeschÍnes

DIRECTOR: Robert Lepage

PRODUCERS: Bruno Jobin, Jean-Pierre St-Michel; Philippe Carcassonne; Ulrish Felsberg

SCRIPT: Robert Lepage and Marie Brassard with Michael Mackenzie

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Guy Dufaux

EDITOR: Emmanuelle Castro, Jean-Francois Bergeron

MUSIC: Robert Caux

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Monique Dion

RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes

French, English and German dialogue, English subtitles

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Dendy Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 14, 1997







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