Gradiva (C’est Gradiva qui vous appelle) (2006)

The revered and celebrated Alain Robbe-Grillet’s supernatural drama C’est Gradiva qui vous appelle (AKA That is Gradiva Who Calls You) – a French-Belgian co-production – concerns John Locke, an art historian immersed in Asian research on the Marrakeshi casbah, accompanied by Belkis, his servant and mistress. Amid his studies of Eugene Delacroix, Locke repeatedly encounters a lithe, ethereal female presence in the city’s medina (or Arabic quarter) who draws him seductively through the city’s mazelike streets, again and again, but repeatedly vanishes. He then encounters Anatoli, a self-professed antique dealer and curator of Oriental artifacts for beginners itching for a challenge. Belkis persuades Locke to keep his distance from these individuals, but Locke blatantly ignores her admonitions and forges ahead – never quite realizing that the spirits are toying with him, and drawing him into a dead-end psychosexual black hole.