This Barthes is the critic of withdrawal, emptied reserve, and affectlessness
, all obliquely quickening notions that Ricco interprets throughout Barthes's writings, but especially in Camera Lucida's own mixture of sexuality and aesthetics.
It's a mesmerising film, one that evokes the affectlessness
of modern war and the powerlessness of its victims.
If the static and measurable urban space represents the affectlessness
and alienation of "human writing", Shao's itinerant ghost sounds penetrating these "solid" structures allegorize the modern as a liberational force in its atomizing thrust.
A debut feature from the writer-director-star, this tart, sexually frank portrait of a disintegrating relationship--as well as its long and bitter aftermath--packs plenty of punch in its best scenes, but it also frequently tests the limits of audience patience with its relentless deadpan affectlessness
and insistence upon leaving no Brooklyn cliche unmined.
They do not help the reader fill in ready-made emotional templates, but they go hand in hand with an eery sense of abstraction and affectlessness