Michel Deville

Michel Deville – La maladie de Sachs AKA Sachs’ Disease (1999)

Quote:
This absorbing and intimate portrait of an ordinary town doctor is characteristic of Michel Deville’s cinema: sombre, slow moving, filled with humanity, and unashamedly naturalistic.

Albert Dupontel is captivating as the film’s central character, Dr Sachs, conveying not just the sense of ennui of a man who is locked into a life he no longer appreciates, but also his yearning for some kind of release, for the fulfilment that has so far eluded him. It is an underplayed, introspective, spiritual kind of film, focused exclusively on Sachs’ daily routine and his matter-of-fact interactions with his patients. The repetitive nature of the consultations, the drab colour scheme and the dreary locations do weigh the film down by they emphasise the sense of aching emptiness that is apparently pushing Sachs towards self-destruction. Read More »

Michel Deville – Raphaël ou le débauché AKA Raphael, or The Libertine (1971)

France, 1830. Morbidly obsessed with the brevity of his existence, Raphaël throws himself into a life of excessive debauchery. It is a path that can only lead towards ignominious self-destruction… But then, one day, Raphaël meets Aurore, a young window, whose life and philosophy are the complete opposite of his. She lives a simple existence in the country, doing good works, virtuous in every word and deed. But their meeting awakens something in both of them. Aurore becomes aware of a longing she has never known, whilst Raphaël is assailed by emotions with which he is entirely unfamiliar… Read More »

Michel Deville – Péril en la demeure AKA Death in a French Garden (1985)

Quote:
A magnate and his younger wife hire David to teach guitar to their teenage daughter. The wife quickly seduces David, and simultaneously he strikes up an acquaintance with the family’s inquisitive neighbor. One night, David is mugged but rescued from injury by a stranger, Daniel, who also becomes David’s friend and admits to being a hit man. Video tapes of their activities appear in the lovers’ mail; David thinks they’re from the neighbor, Daniel is sure the husband is onto the affair and hired the mugger. After Daniel tells David that he’s been hired to kill the husband, an elaborate manipulation plays out, with murder, suicide, a payoff, more videos, and a surprise pairing. Read More »

Michel Deville – La divine poursuite aka The Gods Must Be Daring (1997)

Plot Synopsis:
Two very violent men have conspired to steal a valuable solid gold image of an African deity from the museum in Mali where it is being kept. They had it smuggled out with a number of well-made but very cheap replicas. The plan was to give each of the replicas to the members of a new squash club as a diversion, and profit from the original (worth $1 million) themselves. There is a slip-up, however, and the real statue goes to one of the players. The deliveryman now has to track down all the statues, and in this antic caper comedy, that’s easier said than done. – Allmovie Read More »

Michel Deville – Les capricieux (1984)

In post-revolutionary France, two neighbouring aristocrats (Nicole Garcia and Jean-Pierre Marielle) embark on a dangerous game when they agree to help a Polish agent. Read More »

Michel Deville – Martin Soldat AKA Soldier Martin (1966)

Quotes :
An actor disguises himself as a soldier during the Second World War, but is mistaken for a soldier and becomes involved in the events of WWII.

Un comédien de troisième zone se déguise en officier Allemand pour les besoins de sa troupe de théâtre. Il est fait prisonnier par les soldats Américains le jour du Débarquement… Read More »

Michel Deville – L’apprenti salaud AKA The Apprentice Heel (1977)

Antoine Chapelot, a bachelor in his forties, works in a hardware shop and lives with his mother. Everything changes when he meets Caroline, a teenaged charmer who unwittingly helps him to organize a lucrative real estate scam. While he is on a roll, Antoine decides to pursue the career of a swindler a bit further by persuading a rich family that they had a long-lost American uncle who has just died a millionaire.

Like Deville’s best films, this has an eccentric relationship at the heart of the plot, vertiginous cutting and a dance-like fluidity of texture. Read More »