Archive of films Obsessive Rhythms / Cadences obstinées

France / Portugal
2013, 97 min

Section: Special Events
Year: 2014

Fanny Ardant, celebrated muse of François Truffaut and other distinguished filmmakers, was inspired as director by the kind of female character she herself has frequently portrayed. Protagonist Margo gave up her career for the sake of her husband and now feels aggrieved and abandoned. Ardant entrusted the female lead to Asia Argento, whom she invests with a fiery passion and almost hysterical vulnerability, thus setting the tempo of this remarkable film.


Architect Furio is offered an attractive commission: to turn an old mansion into a hotel. His devotion to his work affects his relationship with his wife, who gave up her career as a successful cellist for his sake and now feels abandoned. The passionate and explosive Margo shares traits with the women Fanny Ardant has portrayed on numerous occasions over the course of her career. She entrusted the role of Margo to the physically- similar Asia Argento, giving the part the vulnerability (bordering on hysteria) of women who blindly surrender to their men: such women are prepared to sacrifice everything for love, and then despise themselves for being so weak. The atmosphere of the individual scenes, progressing from exalted drama to scathing irony, can scarcely be gauged in terms of realism. Everything is here shifted beyond reality: the bizarre setting of the unfinished building with its windswept rooms, the music, occasionally the unsettling, stifling interiors, the theatrical gestures of the characters – everything is subordinate to the rhythm the screenwriter and director adopted for this, her third film.

About the director

Fanny Ardant studied political science and began her stage and film acting career in the 1970s. She masterfully carried off her trademark roles of fated women in films by eminent world directors: Truffaut (The Woman Next Door, 1981; Confidentially Yours, 1983), Resnais (Life Is a Bed of Roses, 1983; Love Unto Death, 1984; Mélo, 1986), Delvaux (Benvenuta, 1984), Schlöndorff (Swann in Love, 1983), Scola (The Family, 1986; The Dinner, 1998), and Antonioni (Beyond the Clouds, 1995). Recently, she has appeared in the films of Paolo Sorrentino Il Divo (2008) and The Great Beauty (2013). As director she made the short film Absent Dreams (2010) and two feature titles – her adaptation of a work by Ismail Kadare Ashes and Blood (2009) and the film Obsessive Rhythms (2013), which she also wrote.


Alfama Films
78, rue du Turbigo, 75003, Paris
Tel: +33 142 010 705
Fax: +33 142 010 830

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Special Events
Director: Fanny Ardant
Screenplay: Fanny Ardant
Dir. of Photography: André Szankowski
Music: Jean-Michel Bernard
Editor: Julia Gregory
Producer: Paulo Branco
Production: Alfama Films
Coproduction: France 3 cinéma, Leopardo Filmes
Cast: Asia Argento, Nuno Lopes, Ricardo Pereira, Gérard Depardieu, Franco Nero
Contact: Alfama Films


Fanny Ardant

Film Director

Franco Nero

Actor / Film Director


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