North American premiere
Selection 2019

Alien Crystal Palace

Directed by Arielle Dombasle



Arielle Dombasle


Florian Bernas, Arielle Dombasle, Jacques Fieschi, Nicolas Ker


Asia Argento, Arielle Dombasle, Michel Fau, Theo Hakola, Nicolas Ker, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Christian Louboutin


Orange studio

France 2019 98 mins OV French Subtitles : English

Trigger warning: delightful confusion. A crazy scientist is on a quest to create a new, immaculate, androgynous being. This transformation is only possible through the alchemy of two old souls: Dolorès (Arielle Dombasle), an avant-garde filmmaker, and her reincarnated lover Nicolas (Nicolas Ker), a confused rocker. The search won’t be easy, especially when so many odd and wild characters, among others the musician’s sister (Asia Argento) and an Egyptian god (Nouvelle Vague star Jean-Pierre Léaud), are thrown into this demented Platonistic disarray.

For Alain Robbe-Grillet the pouting mouth, for Eric Rohmer the doll’s eyes, for Christian Louboutin (present in this film) the delicate feet — Arielle Dombasle is a muse. Ethereal socialite, iconic figure in the Parisian nightlife, she’s now making her own erotic fantasy for the big screen, digging deep into her deliciously eccentric mind. This phantasmagoric poem, generous, absurd and genuinely endearing, has nothing to envy to THE ROOM or Neil Breen’s enigmatic pictures. A hallucinatory experience, a kitsch and camp kaleidoscope with surrealist dialogue and cardboard costumes (literally), all with a dash of meta-cinema, ALIEN CRYSTAL PALACE is as Z as it is mystical. Its French theatrical release buzzed into a strange frenzy, attracting the most adventurous cinephiles, some of whom drove across country to see the few of this UFO's rare screenings. If you think you've seen everything (French) cinema has to offer, think again... And again... And then stop thinking altogether and see ALIEN CRYSTAL PALACE. Let's be honest, the title alone has convinced you already. – Celia Pouzet