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  •  REVIEW: TRIPLE AGENT

    Triple Agent

    Eric the Red

    In "Triple Agent," famed French director Eric Rohmer is more concerned with illustrating his characters' debates over Marxist ideology than with breathing life into a moribund spy yarn.

    By JOSHUA TANZER
    Offoffoff.com

    Eric Rohmer, maker of unsexy, uncomedic sex comedies, has now made an un-thrilling spy thriller set in pre-World War II France.

      
    TRIPLE AGENT
    Written and directed by: Eric Rohmer.
    Cast: Katerina Didaskalu, Serge Renko, Cyrielle Claire, Grigori Manukov, Dimitri Rafalsky, Nathalia Krougly, Amanda Langlet, Jeanne Rambur, Emmanuel Salinger, Vitalyi Cheremet, Bernard Peysson.
    Cinematography: Diane Baratier.
    Edited by: Mary Stephen.
    In French with English subtitles.
     SCHEDULE
    Walter Reade Theater Lincoln Center, 65th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam (212) 875-5600 Sat., Oct. 2, 2004, 3 p.m. Sun., Oct. 3, 2004, 6 p.m.

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    • Official site
    Fyodor is a Russian exile in Paris, a former general on the losing side of the Russian revolution. Now, his carefully parsed conversation leads his expatriates to speculate about whether he's remained true to the tsarists or gone over to the communists, which side he favors in Spain and whether he's been making secret overtures to the rising Nazi party in Germany.

    To be fair, the film picks up a little bit toward the end, but overall we can trust Rohmer to bring out an unexpected tedium even in an intrigue-laden spy yarn, and he does not let us down. Some scenes are burdened with daily-life irrelevancies. ("If they have new carrots, will you pick me up a pound?") More scenes involve stories from the home country read gleefully aloud out of the communist daily "L'Humanit" and discussions about the fine points of communist ideology. The pinnacle of the film's wit comes in lines like: "I don't think your Marxist dialectic is very orthodox!"

    Something will eventually happen to breathe a last gasp of life into this cadavrous story, but it's already on borrowed time. While we may have a little sympathy for the general's amiable wife, Arsino, Fyodor himself has already proven so unengaging that it's hard to care whether he succeeds or fails, whatever his true agenda may be revealed to be. I should share one helpful tip for staying awake through the whole two-hour exercise — sit in front of someone who snores. It worked for me.

    OCTOBER 1, 2004
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Triple Agent:

  • lotsa laughs   from JRT Moore, Sep 3, 2005
  • [no subject]   from ese, Jan 23, 2006
  • critics   from manuel ramos, Mar 1, 2006

  • Post a comment on "Triple Agent"