The Phantom of Liberty

The Phantom of Liberty ★★★★★

Le fantôme de la liberté is a film with a nontraditional narrative form. This film constantly jumps from one plot arc to another where the setting and characters change drastically and there is little if any relation to the previous arc. For example, the film establishes this pattern in the opening minutes. The first scene of the movie takes place in 1800's France in a war torn environment. The film then cuts to a lady reading a story. It turns out the whole scene in the beginning was made up. Another way Le fantôme de la liberté achieves a nontraditional narrative is by consistently subverting expectations. For instance, there is a scene where the audience sees the police colonel at the dinner table with his family. Except there is a twist, in this household the bathroom and dinner table are reversed. There are toilet seats at the dinner table and it is taboo to talk about eating while there. The colonel then asks if he can be excused to go eat and goes to a room that looks like a bathroom but then pulls out a meal and starts to eat. Another example of expectations being subverted is when the sniper is found guilty. After he is found guilty, he is released from his handcuffs and people in the courtroom ask him for his autograph. Basically, Le fantôme de la liberté is a film where it is virtually impossible to predict what will happen next because of the narrative style it employs.

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