Louis Bertain is the owner of a Paris garage which is the front for a robbery gang. He and his accomplices are careful to keep up a civic veneer by day, indulging in criminal activities only when “the red light is on” at night. This status quo is upset when one of the gang members becomes convinced that Louis’ younger brother is a police informer.Read More »
Gilles Grangier – Le rouge est mis AKA Speaking of Murder (1957)
Michel Deville – On a volé la Joconde AKA The Mona Lisa Has Been Stolen (1966)
The Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world, and the most alluring. As soon as Vincent sets eyes on this remarkable work of art he knows that he must possess it, which is not so unlikely as it seems because he is the most accomplished burglar in the world. Stealing valuable paintings is something that Vincent specialises in, so walking off with Da Vinci’s portrait of the woman with the inscrutable smile ought to be a doddle. First he needs a pretext for his frequent visits to the Louvre Museum, and this he obtains by getting himself taken on as an assistant to the picture framer Monsieur Lemercier. He also takes the trouble to strike up a friendly rapport with the man whose job it is to guard the coveted painting. How providential that, like Vincent, he should have a keen interest in chess.Read More »
Michel Deville & Charles Gérard – Une Balle dans le Canon AKA A Bullet in the Gun Barrel (1958)
The story concerns a couple of ex-servicemen who engineer a robbery, only to run afoul of professional criminals.
Dick et Tony, parachutistes rapatriés d’Indochine ont accepté de rendre un petit service au Maltais. Pour une commission de deux millions de francs, ils ont fait transiter 25 millions, mais au moment de rendre l’argent, le Maltais n’est pas là. Ils investissent alors cet argent dans une boîte de nuit.
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Luis Buñuel – Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie AKA The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
The guests arrive at the Senechal home for a dinner party, only to discover that the invitation had been given for the following evening. This miscommunication proves to be the first in a series of unusual events that invariably prevent the Thevenots (Paul Frankeur and Delphine Seyrig), the Senechals (Jean-Pierre Cassel and Stephane Audran), Don Rafael (Fernando Rey), and Florence (Bulle Ogier) from enjoying a meal together. An alternate plan to dine at a local bistro is foiled when a funeral wake for the restaurant owner is held in an adjacent back room. Read More »
Jacques Tati – Jour de fête AKA The Village Fair [1964 re-edited version] (1949)
Jacques Tati’s award-winning feature début – a dazzling blend of satire and slapstick is early evidence of his unique talent. Acclaimed by international critics as an innovative comic masterpiece, Jour de fête is an hilarious exposé of the modern obsession with speed and efficiency, set amidst the rural surroundings of a tiny French village. Tati plays an appealingly self-deluded buffoon a postman who, impressed by the bristling efficiency of the American postal system, makes a wholly misguided attempt to introduce modern methods in the depths of rural France.Read More »