Alain Cavalier – Le paradis (2014)

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The experience of living through two periods of depression and the quiet expectation of a third has endowed a filmmaker with the capacity to perceive the true beauty of life and to capture it on film. He films everything he sees, without favour and without preference, providing it awakens within him a feeling of love. His only worry is that he feels he may have lost some part of that essential quality of his art: innocence… Continue reading

Alain Cavalier – Thérèse (1986)

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Review from the New York Times website, by Vincent Canby :
“Thérèse”, Alain Cavalier’s cool, unsentimental, astonishingly handsome consideration of the life of St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897), is a far cry from “The Song of Bernadette.” Here are no heavenly choirs, no visions bathed in celestial light, no skeptics suddenly transformed into believers by miraculous, not otherwise explicable phenomena. Instead, “Thérèse” is resolutely objective. It examines the religious faith and exaltation of Thérèse Martin, later to be known as the Little Flower of Jesus, in the pragmatic way with which she herself seems to have accepted the experience of her conversion. As played – radiantly and with a good deal of humor – by Catherine Mouchet, Thérèse remains a mystery not to be analyzed but to be accepted as a fact of church history. Continue reading

Alain Cavalier – Le combat dans l’île AKA Fire and Ice (1962)

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Quote:
A hidden gem of the French New Wave, Alain Cavalier’s thrilling black-and-white noir is as sleek and cool as it is gripping. Filled with thrilling plot twists, daring shoot-outs and stormy betrayals, Le Combat dans l’ile takes place against a backdrop of 60’s political turmoil and is strikingly shot by legendary cameraman Pierre Lhomme. Jean-Louis Trintignant is Clément, a member of a right-wing terrorist organization who becomes involved in a political assassination attempt. A member of his gang betrays him and he hides out with his wife Anne (a luminous Romy Schneider) in the country home of a childhood friend, Paul (Henri Serre). Clément defines macho, with his surly incommunicativeness and sudden outbursts of violence, with Anne often its recipient. Paul, by contrast, is a gentle pacifist, and as affection grows between him and Anne, the emotional as well as political tension soar. Continue reading

Alain Cavalier – Le plein de super aka Fill ‘er up with super (1976)

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Synopsis
When a young auto salesman is forced to give up a vacation with his wife in order to drive an American car to its new owner who lives on the Riviera, he makes the best of things. First, he gets and old friend to ride along with him. Then, the two of them are joined by another pair of men who want to ride south. The four of them have a great time, talking about women and fatherhood, among other things… Continue reading

Alain Cavalier – Un étrange voyage AKA On the Track (1981)

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Synopsis
A father-daughter relationship is melded, strained, and deepened by a shared angst: the grandmother in the family left her home by train and never arrived at her destination. The father Pierre (Jean Rochefort) is distraught that the police could basically dismiss the issue as inexplicable, and he decides to retrace on foot the voyage his mother should have made. His daughter Amelie (Camille de Casablanca) goes with him, and the story evolves as the two walk along the train tracks, searching in the nearby terrain and bushes for any evidence that might point to what happened. Along the way, their once antagonistic and distanced relationship (Amelie is a student, her father is a picture-restorer) begins to work itself out… Continue reading