Louis Malle – Le souffle au coeur AKA Murmur of the Heart (1971)

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Synopsis:

Laurent Chevalier, a 14-year-old boy, saw his mother as the closest friend. The two of them went to a mountain resort. Clara Chevalier flirted with one of the hotel guests, her son met girls of the same age. However, on the holiday and Laurent, and his mother were left without companions … Continue reading

Louis Malle – Black Moon (1975)

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Louis Malle meets Lewis Carroll in this bizarre and bewitching trip down the rabbit hole. After skirting the horrors of a mysterious war being waged in the countryside, beautiful young Lily (Cathryn Harrison) takes refuge in a remote farmhouse, where she becomes embroiled in the surreal domestic life of an extremely unconventional family. Evocatively shot by cinematographer Sven Nykvist, Black Moon is a Freudian tale of adolescent sexuality set in a postapocalyptic world of shifting identities and talking animals. It is one of Malle’s most experimental films and a cinematic daydream like no other. (-Criterion) Continue reading

Louis Malle – Les amants AKA The Lovers [+extras] (1958)

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Synopsis:

Louis Malle unveiled the natural beauty of Jeanne Moreau in his breakthrough, Elevator to the Gallows. With his follow-up, the scandalous smash The Lovers> (Les amants), he made her a star once and for all. A deeply felt and luxuriously filmed fairy tale for grown-ups, perched on the edge between classical and New Wave cinemas, The Lovers presents Moreau as a restless bourgeois wife whose eye wanders from both her husband and her lover to an attractive passing stranger (Jean-Marc Bory). Thanks to its frank sexuality, The Lovers caused quite a stir, being censored and attacked for obscenity around the world. If today its shock has worn off, its glistening sensuality and seductive storytelling haven’t aged a day. Continue reading

Louis Malle – Ascenseur pour l’échafaud AKA Elevator to the Gallows [+extras] (1958)

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Synopsis:

In his mesmerizing debut feature, twenty-four-year-old director Louis Malle brought together the beauty of Jeanne Moreau, the camerawork of Henri Decaë, and a now legendary score by Miles Davis. A touchstone of the careers of both its star and director, Elevator to the Gallows is a richly atmospheric thriller of murder and mistaken identity unfolding over one restless Parisian night. Continue reading

Louis Malle – Vive le Tour (1962)

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Vive le tour is director Louis Malle’s affectionate homage to one of France’s most treasured institutions, the Tour de France cycle race. In this short documentary film, Malle and his camera team marvellously capture the ambience of the Tour: the unbridled enthusiasm of the crowds of spectators, the beauty of the French countryside setting, and the gruelling ordeal of the participants.
We see how the cyclists refresh themselves during their marathon races, the sorry effects of dope-taking, the pain and disappointment of injured cyclists and, finally, the indescribable delight of the victors on the podium. With its eloquent and evocative photography, accompanied by Georges Delerue’s enchanting music, this is less a documentary and more a visual poem which says almost all there needs to be said on the greatest cycle race in the world. James Travers (filmsdefrance) Continue reading

Louis Malle – Damage [+Extras] (1992)

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The fascination of watching Damage is similar to the fascination of watching a car crash in progress–you know something unpleasant is going to happen, but your attention is riveted to the scene of destruction. In the case of this acclaimed drama, adapted by playwright David Hare from the novel by Josephine Hart, the destruction results from a collision of sexual attraction between a British governmental official (Jeremy Irons) and his son’s fiancée (Juliette Binoche). Blind to the damage they’ll cause to others and themselves, they begin an obsessive affair based purely on impulsive attraction and the hidden emotions that feed into their immediate physical desires. As you could expect, this leads to emotional fallout for everyone concerned, lending multiple interpretations to the film’s title and allowing Miranda Richardson (as Irons’s wife) to give a brilliant performance drawn from raw anger and betrayal. Under the direction of Louis Malle, this forceful drama never resorts to sordid detail or gratuitous titillation. Rather, Malle and his esteemed cast have explored the ways in which the power of sexuality supercedes the rationality of logic, when mutual attraction is stronger than one’s ability to resist temptation. Damage makes it clear that such an indulgence will always come at considerable cost. The DVD of this fine film includes a behind-the-scenes featurette and the original theatrical trailer. Continue reading

Louis Malle – Le Voleur AKA The Thief of Paris (1967)

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IMDB : In Paris around 1900, Georges Randal is brought up by his wealthy uncle, who squanders his inheritance. Georges hopes to marry his cousin Charlotte, but his uncle arranges for her to marry a rich neighbour. As an act of revenge, Georges steals the fiance’s family jewels, and enjoys the experience so much that he embarks upon a life-time of burglary…
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