A few minutes into Molière (2007), Jean-Baptiste Poquelin/Molière (Romain Duris) sits down to write a play for his theatre troupe, who have recently arrived in Paris to perform for the King’s brother after several years touring the provinces. A long shot presents Duris centrally framed behind a large wooden desk, the foreground cluttered with various objects; open books, a fur rug, leather-covered furniture. Molière dips his quill into a pot of ink and clears his throat, at which point the film cuts to a medium shot from Duris’s right side. The camera begins to slowly circle him, during which time (via a cut masked by the back of his chair) day becomes night. The scene ends with him throwing away the quill. For the duration of the camera movement Duris remains in the same position, looking forward while holding the quill poised above a blank piece of paper. This is one of three writing scenes that punctuate the film. Only one of these features Molière actually writing, which, considering his primary reputation is as a playwright, directly confounds an expectation of witnessing the business of writing. 1 As a solution to the difficulty of dramatizing an activity that lacks visual interest—as Catherine Wheatley observes in her review, 104“writing isn’t a cinematic activity” 2 —the act of writing is substituted with an extended flashback to an episode in Molière’s life 13 years earlier, prompted by a reunion with a woman who became his lover and encouraged his comedic talents during that time. These past events become the material of the play he writes, which is performed at the end of the film. Not only does the film exchange writing for a dramatized narrative, but it foregrounds the constructedness of the biographical story by making the drama of his becoming a writer revolve around performance and pretense, borrowing motifs and characters from Molière’s plays. Molière the playwright becomes Molière the (bad) actor, hired as an acting tutor by rich merchant Monsieur Jourdain (Fabrice Luchini), while pretending to be a religious tutor and hiding his affair with Madame Jourdain (Laura Morante). Intertextual reference to Molière’s work, to theatrical conventions, as well as to the business of performance and disguise constitute much of the film and inform its style. In this scene the framing of Duris is consistent with proscenium theatre space, the arrangement of furniture and décor echoes that frontal position and the mise-en-scène is cluttered with what could be theatrical props, objects, and furniture positioned to foreground the scene’s activity.