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1 item from 2008

Fcn—Life of the Dead (La vie des morts, 1991)

11 October 2008 11:56 PM, PDT | Twitch | See recent Twitch news »

The French Cinema Now revival screening of Arnaud Desplechin’s rarely (if ever) seen first feature film Life of the Dead (La vie des morts, 1991) was a welcome meditation on the presence of the oak in the acorn.  It proved to be a perfect companion piece to A Christmas Tale for prefiguring many of the themes and methods expressed more fully in Desplechin’s critically-acclaimed recent work, including a family gathering pulled into the gravitational field of the death horizon via an attempted suicide.

Where Life of the Dead differs from A Christmas Tale is that the family has gathered for a death watch, instead of a competitive if not hopeful negotiation to save the life of their matriarch.  But the intrafamilial hatred is amusingly familiar in retrospect, including the embittered daughter Pascale (Marianne Denicourt) trying to rule the family brood through sheer animus if not animosity and Emmanuelle Devos »

- Michael Guillen

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1 item from 2008

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