The Whirlpool

The Whirlpool

Directed by: Alvin Case
73 minutes

North American Premiere

French with English subtitles

The opening credits of THE WHIRLPOOL roll over a moody shot of Niagara Falls and a retro soundtrack that call to mind the mysterious atmosphere of Twin Peaks. Although the film does not continue in a particularly Lynchean vein, this opening prepares the viewer for the film’s nonlinear narrative and dark sexuality. Director Alvin Case employs hand-held camerawork and natural lighting to create an intimate feel evocative of homemade movies or a long-lost memory.

Agathe is a young Frenchwoman whose therapist has recommended a vacation. While on her visit to Niagara Falls, she meets Victor; he says he is visiting the falls because they were special to his parents, who have recently, suddenly died. Drawn to Victor’s candor, Agathe invites him to stay with her, and they embark on an intense, confessional romance. But the circumstances of Victor’s parents’ death haunt him, pulling him toward an irresistible fate beyond even Agathe’s reach.

—Kristina Aikens