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A criminally overlooked work from the post-post-New Wave era of French cinema, Marie-Claude Treilhou’s feature debut assumes the form of a triptych, following leather-clad porno theater usher Simone (Ingrid Bourgoin) as she banters with her coworker (Martine Simonet) while watching the eccentric strangers puttering in and out of the cinema’s lobby; then clocks out and heads off to meet her girlfriend, a waitress at a lesbian club; and later, has an encounter with a lonely man on the prowl (Cahiers du cinéma critic Michel Delahaye). But the minimalist plot of Simone Barbes almost seems besides the point: Treilhou’s film is saturated with style and atmosphere, the chargedness of each throwaway gesture, idle remark, or seemingly empty moment yielding a character study unlike any other. 4K scan and restoration by Cosmodigital for La Traverse with the support of the CNC.
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