Episode 41: Mathieu Amalric’s Le Stade de Wimbledon (2001)

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Released in 2001, Le Stade de Wimbledon (The Wimbledon Stage) is French actor Mathieu Amalric’s second feature film, and it stars his ex-wife, the brilliant Jeanne Balibar. It is based on the Italian novel, Lo stadio di Wimbledon by Daniele Del Giudice. In Trieste, Italy a woman searches for information about Bobby Volher, a writer who never wrote a book. She wants to know why someone with so much talent did not seek out publication. The film never really answers this question but that’s not the point. The film wants to raise questions, it wants to meander and explore and investigate; it revels in the search itself and asks us to consider what we might discover along the way.

For me, this film is so beguiling because it’s interested in the meaning and mystery of writing itself. Why do we write? For ourselves? For others? For fame and publication? And what do we make of writers who had little interest in being published, like Emily Dickinson? I explore all this and more in this episode.

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