Alain Robbe-Grillet – Gradiva (C’est Gradiva qui vous appelle) AKA It’s Gradiva Who Is Calling You (2006)
Alain Robbe-Grillet’s final film, an erotic ghost story set in Morocco. James Wilby plays an archaeologist pursuing the mysterious Arielle Dombasle through the streets of Marrakesh.
Review by Nathan Southern for All Movie Guide:
The revered and celebrated Alain Robbe-Grillet’s supernatural drama C’est Gradiva qui vous appelle (AKA That is Gradiva Who Calls You) – a French-Belgian co-production – concerns John Locke, an art historian immersed in Asian research on the Marrakeshi casbah, accompanied by Belkis, his servant and mistress. Amid his studies of Eugene Delacroix, Locke repeatedly encounters a lithe, ethereal female presence in the city’s medina (or Arabic quarter) who draws him seductively through the city’s mazelike streets, again and again, but repeatedly vanishes. He then encounters Anatoli, a self-professed antique dealer and curator of Oriental artifacts for beginners itching for a challenge. Belkis persuades Locke to keep his distance from these individuals, but Locke blatantly ignores her admonitions and forges ahead – never quite realizing that the spirits are toying with him, and drawing him into a dead-end psychosexual black hole.