Philippe Garrel’s Le Révélateur (1968) and David Lynch’s The Grandmother (1970) are among the masterpieces of experimental cinema. They also enter into uncanny resonance with each other when placed side by side, becoming part of the same cultural history. Brad Stevens, whose piece in Senses of Cinema (Issue 6, 2000, sensesofcinema.com/2000/retrospective-jeune-dure-et-pure/revelateur/) inspired our audiovisual essay, comments: “The similarities of tone, imagery, theme and structure being so extreme … it is difficult to believe nothing more than coincidence was involved”. Both films are stark, infernal allegories of the Holy Family: Father, Mother, Child … plus something tender and/or violent that surpasses the confines of this nuclear unit.
© Cristina Álvarez López & Adrian Martin, April 2017