Behindert is an astonishingly intimate recreation of Dwoskin’s time with actor Carola Regnier (who gives a hypnotically intricate performance of her own desires and vulnerabilities). This is Dwoskin’s masterpiece. Inde...展开ed, I have come to regard it as the one of the greatest works in cinema history. Once again, it is structured in tableaux, almost classically so — from first glance to final parting, it is like the “stations of the cross” of a modern relationship; and is it accidental that it comes only a year after Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage? Like many of Dwoskin’s pieces, it is a reflection upon his physical condition—the title could be translated as “hindered” or even “handicapped,” hence “disabled” — and the strains it poses on his exchanges with an able-bodied lover. But this is as far from a “social problem” or “disease of the week” telemovie as can possibly be imagined—as the perfectly judged long takes, coupled with the relentless drone-score by Gavin Bryars, attest.
Behindert remains Dwoskin’s most daring and artistically successful attempt to splice his “first person” mode of cinema with a staged fiction—creating a kind of cubistic complexity from the constantly shuffled perspectives. The “fourth look” which Willemen intuited—not exactly the look of the characters, the spectator, or even the camera-eye, but some other, more forbidding look, like the gaze of society itself—hovers over the interstices between these images, these tableaux, these scenes from a relationship. From a film-history standpoint, Dwoskin’s breakthrough here is prophetic. Anticipating the ongoing novelistic autobiography of Philippe Garrel’s work since the 1980s, Behindert plays a thrilling, almost vampiric game with the proximity of real-life experience to its fictive recreation—especially as its principals are the actual former lovers!