Encountering Philippe Garrel at the Lisbon-Estoril Film Festival

November 14, 2014 12:04 PM

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En route to the Lisbon-Estoril Film Festival, the lively film director who shared the airport taxi with me waxed about the films of French auteur Philippe Garrel, whose 40 year career is being honored by a retrospective here at the festival. "The images stay with you!" she said beaming. "Black and white and mute. All about love!" In the lobby of my hotel, I overheard a young man say the same: "His films are extraordinary!" he said. "All about love! Love! He believes in love. And so does Philippe," he winked. "I have known him since I was four years old in Paris. He was my neighbor. Would you like to meet him?"

So, an hour later I met Philippe Garrel and his girlfriend, a painter named Muriel, in the hotel lobby. Muriel whispered to me, radiant: "This is a new love! We have been together a year. It is wonderful to feel like you are twenty again. Love comes just out of nowhere, as a surprise."

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