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Alix's Pictures

A Short film by Jean Eustache

Produced by Médiane Films

Production year : 1980

  • Contents

Participants (2)

Production and distribution

Executive Producer :

Médiane Films


Alix Cléo Roubaud, a photographer, describes her images to Eustache’s son Boris. An “essay in the shape of a hoax,” Eustache’s last film wittily questions the relationship between showing and telling as it gradually shifts Alix’s narration out of sync with what we see.


This is a true art film in the literal sense of the word. In an unadorned room, a woman shows a book of her photographs to young boy. Their relationship is brilliantly vague; their ages perfectly spaced so that they could be mother/son, teacher/student, even lovers. The entire film consists of the woman simply describing the photos to the boy. We see each one as she turns the page. The effect is surprisingly gripping, and possibly the reason for this can only be grasped in retrospect: at a certain point - and that point is probably different for each viewer - you realize that the detailed "descriptions" the woman gives for each picture bears no relationship to them. They are, in effect, random bits of descriptive text joined with random photographs. The moment of this realization is as surprising, exhilarating, and chilling as the third act surprise reveal in any good thriller. We immediately question everything we've seen before. What we're left with is what any good work of art leaves us with, more questions, not answers. What is the relationship of words to pictures? What does is mean for a description of something to be "accurate?" Do words "change" how we perceive visuals? If you believe Magritte's "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" opens a profound can of worms, this is a film you must see. Remember the actual name of that Magritte painting? It's called "The Treachery of Images."

Source : IMDb

Full credits (3)

Directors of Photography :

Robert Alazraki, Caroline Champetier

Participants :

Boris Eustache, Alix Cléo Roubaud

Sound Recordist :

Bruno Charier

Technical details

Short film

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Nationality :

100% French (France)

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Runtime :

18 min

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Festival Selections

Cesar Awards - French film industry awards - 1982

Cesar Awards - French film industry awards (France, 1982)


Best Short Drama Film


Cesar Awards - French film industry awards - 1982

Cesar Awards - French film industry awards (France, 1982)


Cesar Award for Best Short Drama Film