Jeanne Balibar is a formidable talent
The shadowy, low-key lighting is Wellesian, the fetishist close-ups are Sternbergian, and, says Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa, the basic set-up of rehearsals of songs that are never witnessed in completion is inspired by Jean-Luc Godard's One Plus One. In that 1968 film, the Stones keep doing parts of "Sympathy for the Devil," and finally there's the entire song. Here we get more, as some numbers in this demanding black-and-white documentary play out start to finish. Ultimately, Costa manages an effective visual environment to showcase the startling versatility and formidable talents of French chanteuse Jeanne Balibar. She moves deftly from simulating Dietrich and Nico to singing Offenbach opera to offering a rocking, unexpected take on the unheralded theme song written by Peggy Lee and Victor Young for the cult 1954 Western Johnny Guitar.
, Jean-Luc Godard, Jeanne Balibar, Marlene Dietrich, More