Lets Get Lost, Bruce Webers wrenchingly intimate 1987 portrait of jazzman Chet Baker, is the high-water mark for marriages of black-and-white cinematography and world-class music. Now comes the acclaimed Portuguese director Pedro Costa, an aficionado of long takes and high-contrast lighting, with Ne change rien, his own black-and-white method of gaining entrée to a musicians soul. His subject and muse is the French singer and actress Jeanne Balibar, captured in the studio and onstage, mistakes and all. All, incidentally, means nothing else no probing interviews, no scenes of life on tour, no casually revealing shots of everyday behavior. Costa frames Balibar at the mic, locks down the camera, and lets her do the work. He doesnt stint a whit on beauty, but his goal is neither entertainment nor diversion. On the contrary, he wants to submerge us entirely in the performers concentration and creation. With minimal movement and editing to distract us, Ne change rien pulls us deeper and deeper under the singers spell. There are many ways to achieve intimacy, and Costa and Balibar have devised a gorgeous new one. See it with someone who loves chiaroscuro.
Thu., Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 23, 2 p.m., 2011