Q&As with Denis Côté on Sept. 25 & 27

The versatile and mischievous Quebecois filmmaker Denis Côté (A Skin So Soft, NYFF55) has made an absurdist comedy that’s incidentally perfect for the pandemic era. Constructed as a series of frank and often hilarious repartees between an insolent petty thief named Antonin and a succession of largely fed-up women—who range from sister to wife to lover to tax collector—Côté’s film situates its characters in elegant outdoor tableaux in the Quebec countryside, keeping a safe, proper, and humorous distance from one another as they verbally parry and thrust in static long takes. Unexpectedly traversing time, with characters appearing in either period or contemporary dress depending on the context of their conversation, Social Hygiene is a sly reminder that our present-day culture of moral confrontation was ever thus.