A French platoon on a rocky outpost near the Afghan-Pakistan border is rocked by the disappearance of one of their comrades one night. Has he gone AWOL, or has he been captured by the Taliban? A couple of nights later another man vanishes, again without a trace. Captain Bonassieu (Jeremie Renier) is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery…
Among the few truly great films of the 21st Century, this is a spellbinding contemplation of contemplation, the act – and the art – of seeing. Guerin’s masterpiece follows a young man as he haunts a café in Strasberg, in search of… Sylvia, we guess. He gazes avidly at women. And we gaze too, watching him watching, seeing what he sees. Reminiscent of a Chekhovian short story, of Vertigo, of silents and musicals and experimental art film, In the City of Sylvia is very simple and utterly transfixing, and it cuts to the heart of what the cinema is about.