The world and a life in four walls, and another portrait of a mother – selfish and generous, mercurial and unchanging. C’est la vie! (1980) takes Pagnol and Renoir’s experiments with open-air theatre to inspired and ecstatic conclusions, especially the latter’s love of depth-framing across windows and partitions, and lays the groundwork for Vecchiali’s later experiments with long-take space and time in Once More (1988). Also a pseudo-sequel to Marie-Claude Treilhou’s exquisite Simone Barbès ou la vertu (1980), reaffirming the Diagonale as not just a production model, but a kind of surrogate family, and a creative universe unto this forged community and itself. With Chantal Delsaux, Ingrid Bourgoin, Jean-Christophe Bouvet, and my beloved Hélène Surgère and Michel Delahaye. Read More »
ne of Emmanuelle Beart’s less known part but one of her most emotionally intense ,”Les Enfants Du Desordre” is a work by Yannick Bellon,once nicknamed the female Andre Cayatte (which ,IMHO ,is no insult for Cayatte paved a reliable way to activist directors ),who was the first in France to tackle the burning subject of rape ,just like a woman would do (she was preceded by American Ida Lupino ).Her work dealing with cancer (“L’Amour Nu”) was not as convincing,taking place in privileged milieus whereas her “La Triche” about homosexuality was downright embarrassing :killing the gay at the end of her movie is not an improvement on the American works of the sixties such as “the fox” or “children’s hour” ! Read More »
In 1863 Adèle Hugo, the younger daughter of the great French poet and patriot, Victor Hugo, ran away from home on the Isle of Guernsey where her father was living in exile to follow a young English officer, a Lieutenant Pinson, to his new post in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lieutenant Pinson was probably not a bad sort, not worse than most, but he wasn’t very serious.
It’s thought that the young, inexperienced Adèle had most likely been Lieutenant Pinson’s mistress for a short time on Gurnsey, and it’s known that she wanted desperately to marry him, though her father disapproved. In any case, Lieutenant Pinson was not interested — a circumstance that Adèle was ill-equipped to understand or ever to support. Read More »
Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve star as members of a French theater company living under the German occupation during World War II in François Truffaut’s gripping, humanist character study. Against all odds—a Jewish theater manager in hiding; a leading man who’s in the Resistance; increasingly restrictive Nazi oversight—the troupe believes the show must go on. Equal parts romance, historical tragedy, and even comedy, The Last Metro (Le dernier métro) is Truffaut’s ultimate tribute to art overcoming adversity. Read More »
Georges Simenon’s 1940 novel Les Inconnus dans la maison is a brooding study in social breakdown and youth disaffection that contains a powerful critique of western society of the 1940s. The same can equally be said of Henri Decoin’s magnificent film adaptation, one of the earliest and most successful attempts to bring Simenon’s bleak, melancholic world to the big screen. This was the second film that Decoin made for the German-run film company Continental-Films during the Nazi Occupation of France and it could hardly be more different in tone and subject from his first, the American-style romantic comedy Premier rendez-vous (1941). Read More »
Helen Taylor, a favorite of the London public on stage, is torn between the attention of Lord Stamford (principal shareholder of the theater) and Herbert Campbell, a fervent admirer, novel author, who does not hesitate to abandon his wife to follow The star of the scene. Read More »
The scenes of “Life as it is” resemble nothing of what has been done so far by the various film producers in the world. They are an attemp at realism carried for the first time to the screen as it was taken before to literature, theater and the arts. Read More »