La Belle captive

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La Belle captive
La belle captive.jpg
Directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Produced by Anatole Dauman[1]
Screenplay by Alain Robbe-Grillet[1]
Cinematography Henri Alekan[1]
Edited by Bob Wade[1]
  • Argos films
  • FR3 Cinema[1]
Distributed by Argos films
Release date
  • 1983 (1983) (France)
Country France[1]

La Belle captive is a 1983 French avant-garde film directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet.[2]



La Belle captive was released in France in 1983; it was distributed by Argos Films.[1] The film was entered into the 33rd Berlin International Film Festival.[3] In a review, Tim Lucas noted that it was "not especially successful in France, but it was one of (Robbe-Grillet's) most popular films abroad."[4]

Lucas also noted that Sight & Sound Alain Robbe-Grillet is "said to be rigorously protective of his films -- despite their exploitable elements of sex, mystery, fetishism and even supernatural horror -- not wishing them to become associated with the similar though less cerebral works of fellow oneirics and eroticists like Jean Rollin and Jess Franco; consequently, they have had virtually no authorised presence on home video apart from an academically issued limited edition of SECAM tapes in the 1980s."[4] A DVD of the La Belle captive was released by Koch Lorber in 2007.[4]


Critic Tim Lucas (Sight & Sound) described the film as "Robbe-Grillet lite. Its lead actors fail to fascinate and it lacks the hypnotic allure that distinguished Marienbad and L'Immortelle."[4] Lucas opined that the film may "have been more involving, one imagines, had its allusions been subtitled, rather than its narcissistic dialogue and narration."[4] but that the film still "shares the self-reflexive sense of humour of Robbe-Grillet's Trans-Europ Express and that "several of (cinematographer) Alekan's images are appropriately captivating."[4]

Michael Brooke (Sight & Sound) noted that despite the DVD cover's comparison to David Lynch's Eraserhead, La Belle captive was "Alain Robbe-Grillet's most explicit tribute to the original French Surrealist movement.", noting that "Robbe-Grillet constantly undermines narrative, temporal and spatial expectations at every turn while teasing the viewer with iconography drawn from Magritte, American thrillers, Murnau's Nosferatu and much else. It's tempting to assume that the somewhat vacant lead performances are absolutely as intended, the better to offset Daniel Emilfork's grotesque police investigator, smirking at knowledge that he's withholding from everyone else."[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "La Belle captive" (in French). Retrieved May 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ Voorhees, John. "La Belle Captive". AllMovie. Retrieved May 23, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Berlinale: 1983 Programme". Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Lucas, Tim (June 2007). "La Belle Captive". Sight & Sound. Vol. 17 no. 6. British Film Institute. p. 88. ISSN 0037-4806. 
  5. ^ Brooke, Michael (October 2009). "La Belle Captive". Sight & Sound. Vol. 19 no. 10. British Film Institute. p. 85. ISSN 0037-4806. 

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