"In one of the rare truly visual films about writers, Werner Schroeter generates extravagant images to match the insights of the nameless writer he films-played with ferocious precision by Isabelle Huppert and dubbed into German by the early Wim Wenders muse Lisa Kreuzer. The creative frenzy of the mentally disintegrating poet is matched by Schroeter's onrushing tracking shots, action darting into frame, and expressive lighting (the camerawork by Elfi Mikesch is original and brilliant). Working with a sharply lyrical adaptation by 2004 Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek of Ingeborg Bachmann's cult novel, Schroeter follows the exquisite associative logic of poetry and madness. While at a children's film with another lover and his young sons, the poet dreams, and the fantasy sequence that results is breathtaking. Her story ends with a mirror game as intricate as the one in The Lady from Shanghai, but to more quietly devastating effect."

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