Bernadette Lafont

  • Pascal Aubier – Valparaiso, Valparaiso (1971)

    1971-1980Amos Vogel: Film as a Subversive ArtComedyFrancePascal AubierPolitics

    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. Read More »

  • Jean-Daniel Pollet – L’amour c’est gai, l’amour c’est triste aka Love Is Gay, Love Is Sad (1971)

    1971-1980ComedyFranceJean-Daniel Pollet

    Quote:
    Leon is a tailor and he believes men are coming to see his trollop sister Marie to have their palms read. Then Arlette, a young provincial girl saved from suicide by Marie, comes to live in the apartment…Read More »

  • Jean Eustache – La maman et la putain (1973)

    1971-1980ArthouseDramaFranceJean EustacheThe Films of May '68

    A few days of a dandyish French intellectual in his late 20s named Alexandre (Jean-Pierre Leaud), who’s living with and supported by his lover, Marie (Bernadette Lafont); she’s in her mid-30s and runs a small boutique. In the first scene he borrows a neighbor’s car and tracks down a former girlfriend, Gilberte (Isabelle Weingarten), who’s just started a new semester at the Sorbonne, and tries to persuade her to marry him, only to discover that she’s just agreed to marry someone else. (We and Alexandre briefly glimpse Gilberte with her husband, played by Eustache, toward the end of the film, in the liquor section of a department store.) After hanging out with an equally idle friend (Jacques Renard) at the Deux Magots cafe, Alexandre follows a young woman after she leaves a nearby table, asks for her phone number, and scores; the remainder of the film is devoted to his courting of her.Read More »

  • Anne-Marie Miéville – Nous sommes tous encore ici aka We’re All Still Here (1997)

    1991-2000Anne-Marie MiévilleArthouseFrance

    “In some ways more obscure and difficult than Jean-Luc Godard, with whom she has collaborated in various capacities since 1972, Anne-Marie Mieville continues to puzzle even as she sharpens her mise en scene. This 80-minute feature from 1997 is the most interesting solo effort of hers I’ve seen, though I’m not entirely sure what to make of it, especially during the third and final sequence. In the first and most impressive sequence, an extract from Plato’s Gorgias is dramatized inside a bourgeois household, with Callicles (Bernadette Lafont) performing various household chores as she quarrels with Socrates (Aurore Clement). In the second, Godard turns up on a theater stage to rehearse a monologue condensed from a passage in Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism below a huge photograph of Arendt as a young woman, an image that recalls the opening of Bergman’s Persona.Read More »

  • Nelly Kaplan – La Fiancée du pirate AKA A Very Curious Girl (1969)

    1961-1970ArthouseCampFranceNelly KaplanThe Female GazeThe Films of May '68

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    Quote:
    “In a tightly knit rural community, Marie and her mother are outcasts, living in a small wood cabin. Marie is exploited and abused by both her employer, a lesbian landowner, and her oversexed male neighbours, who include the town’s mayor and a seemingly respectable shopkeeper. When her mother is killed in a road accident, Marie decides it is time to turn the tables on her tormenters. She starts to make them pay for her sexual favours, and, thanks to her innate talent for seduction, she soon becomes the wealthiest person in the area. In the end, her neighbours decide that Marie is a corrupting influence and contrive to have her forced out of the village. Marie, however, intends to have the last laugh…”Read More »

  • Claude Chabrol – Les Bonnes Femmes aka The Good Time Girls (1960)

    1951-1960Claude ChabrolDramaFranceRomance

    Ginette, Rita, Jacqueline and Jane try to find fulfillment and love in their lives. Rita has a fiance whose family is obsessed with social distinction; Jane has a boy-friend in the army, but does not hesitate to enjoy herself with chance encounters; Ginette has a mysterious passion that keeps her away from her colleagues at nights. Jacqueline is lonely; but who is that mysterious bike-rider who is constantly following her?Read More »

  • Diourka Medveczky – Paul (1969)

    Arthouse1961-1970Diourka MedveczkyFrance

    Quote:
    Paul, a middle-class young man, in a break with his sphere, meets a group of wandering vegetarians who live begging; he decides to join them.Read More »

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