Review by Jonathan Rosenbaum:
It’s been a full quarter of a century, but I still harbor fond memories of a low-budget French comedy called Valparaiso Valparaiso, a first feature starring Alain Cuny and Bernadette Lafont that I saw at Cannes in 1973. A lighthearted satire about the myopia of romantic French revolutionaries, it details an elaborate hoax perpetrated on a befuddled leftist–a character so absorbed in the glory of departing for Chile to fight the good fight as a special agent that he doesn’t even notice the political struggle going on around him on the French docks when he leaves. The film was so marginal that two years passed between its completion and its modest premiere at the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes, and you won’t find it mentioned in any of the standard reference books. No, I take that back: Jean-Michel Frodon gives it a third of a sentence in his over-900-page L’Age moderne du Cinema Francais de la Nouvelle Vague a nos jours (1995), linking it with two other films of the early 70s inspired by the French Communist Party and critical of leftists. Valparaiso Valparaiso had the sort of heart and lyricism, however, that lingered in a few post-New Wave movies of that period.
998MB | 1h 33m | 656×400 | avi