(Les Temps qui changent, 2004) The 63-year-old French writer-director André Téchiné, like his younger countryman Olivier Assayas, a fluid, fluent filmmaker, seems most adept at finding the heartbeat, not only of the drama being enacted in any particular scene of his films, but of his characters’ deepest confusions and convictions. In the Tangier-set “Changing Times,” information is parceled out sparingly, connections are made but not explained, and there is a mirror reflection of each character in the overlapped, textured character studies. The plot’s hard to unravel in synopsis, but characters old (Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu, Gilbert Melki from “Cote d’Azur”) and young (Malik Zidi and “Paradise Now”’s Lubna Azabal) alike find it difficult to drop deep emotional connections from the past, with complications that range from a kind of decades-long stalking (Depardieu, Deneuve) to bisexual affiliations to twins who cannot meet, even in the same city (the radiant-even-when-ragged Azabal). Téchiné’s layering of the plot in locations all across the Moroccan city does abundant justice to the layers and layers of cultural, sexual and romantic implication in this oddly touching tale. More movies should breathe the way this one does. 98m. (Ray Pride)
“Changing Times” opens Friday at the Music Box.