Left Bank (Linkeroever) (Pieter Van Hees, 2008)

For a film which opens with a sequence wherein a young woman examines a set of mysterious blueprints, and which often uses camera tracking and tilting to ogle the ominous sight/site of three looming apartment monoliths, it should come as no surprise that buildings are somehow important to making sense of its beguiling narrative. Yet buildings and bodies are intimately connected: we’re told that the young woman is a researcher of sexuality, who wanders through tunnels to encounter an orifice in a wall—which itself opens on something called the “devil’s vagina”—and the camera leers as lovingly and longingly on the high rises as it does on the oft-naked body of its main character, a runner, who sees her body as a temple. She has it wrong, though: the film proposes that our temples are bodies; our blood and bile and cartilage, like hers, are particles of dust in the facades of the bricks and mortar and mortality of architecture.

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