Recorded on Saturday, August 22, 2020
Writer-director Céline Sciamma’s 2019 feature Portrait of a Lady on Fire stars Noémie Merlant as Marianne, who’s been hired to surreptitiously paint the portrait of the soon-to-be-married Héloïse, played by Adèle Haenel. Set at the end of the 18th century, the film is itself a study in portraiture, a haunting ghost story, and so much more—including, in the director’s own words, a “manifesto about the female gaze.” Join the Film Club as Debby leads the conversation and we trace the contours of our own appreciation for this recent masterpiece.
Technical note: The pitfalls of socially distant recording reared their head this episode, and the audio ended up with more than the usual amount of snaps, crackles and pops. Apologies!
- “Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Daring to See,” by Ela Bittencourt for The Criterion Collection