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Film screening: Elle


From 29 September 2022




Garage Auditorium
Film screening: <i>Elle</i>Film screening: <i>Elle</i>


This radical work by Paul Verhoeven, director of the 1990s classics Showgirls and Basic Instinct, explores violence and victimhood. It premiered internationally in the main competition at the 69th Cannes Film Festival.

Michèle Leblanc is a successful businesswoman who runs a videogame company. On the surface her life seems both perfect and dark. Michèle’s relationship with her incredibly rich mother, Irène, who is about to get married again, is cold and poisoned by misunderstanding. Their past is haunted by the same monster, Michèle’s father, who is in prison for a mass murder he committed in the 1970s. After her own divorce, Michèle lives alone in a luxurious house, where she sees her lover (the husband of her best friend and business partner) and occasionally her grown-up but extremely childish son. Her already complicated relationships become messier when a maniac breaks into her home and rapes her. Michèle decides against reporting the rape to the police and starts her own investigation. 

Michèle (a César-winning role for Isabelle Huppert) is not unlike the videogame characters created by her company. Mysterious and ambitious (she calls herself a «psycho, daughter of a psycho»), she hunts and traps the rapist with a fearlessness that borders on madness. Whether Michèle’s uncanny self-control results from a childhood trauma related to her father or is partly a caricature of a calculating, successful woman who does not give up even after a rape, is unclear. She does not match the public idea of a «proper» victim: she is old-fashioned in her beliefs, misogynistic, and cruel. Her company releases violent games, yet we are expected to feel sorry for her.

The Dutch filmmaker and master of the Hollywood thriller Paul Verhoeven has made a French film using American methods. Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life comes on as Michèle’s family are having their Christmas dinner—a manifesto for Isabelle Huppert’s character, reflecting her life strategy. In her quest to find the rapist, she hacks into her colleagues’ computers, learns to shoot, and keeps imagining scenes of revenge shot by the French cinematographer Stéphane Fontaine in the classical style of Hollywood suspense.

The film will be screened in French with Russian subtitles.

Dir. Paul Verhoeven
France, Germany, Belgium, 2016. 130 min. 16+


Standard: 350 rubles
Student: 250 rubles*


GARAGE cardholders:  175 RUB.

Tickets for seniors, veterans, large families, under 18s, and visitors with disabilities (with one carer): 175 RUB**

We recommend that you buy tickets in advance. All ticket categories are available online.

* Students aged 18–25 on production of relevant ID
** Please show proof of eligibility at the cinema entrance