7 items from 2015
Right out of the gate I should say that Cemetery Without Crosses is notable for a number of reasons. First off, it's one of the only, if only, French westerns from the 60s and it was directed by Rififi actor Robert Hossein who also starred in the film. Hossein, a huge fan of Italian westerns (who can blame him?), dedicated the film to his friend, Sergio Leone who also makes an appearance in the film and directed one of its better scenes. The film's opening theme is sung by legendary British crooner Scott Walker, so there's that, but I struggle to recommend this Euro western to anyone other than the most die [Continued ...] »
From France With Love: Gender And Identity In French Romantic Comedy
By Mary Harrod (I. B. Tauris, £62/ $99)264 pages. Hardback. Isbn: 9781784533588
Review by Diane Rodgers
French romantic comedy has been enjoying something of a popularity boom, beginning slowly in the 1990s and showing no sign of waning two decades later. The 'comédie romantique' (still a relatively new term in the French language) now firmly standardised as a popular film genre in France. The rom-com genre has outperformed all others financially, responsible for around 50% of domestic box office takings and the lion's share of French film production. So why, Mary Harrod poses, has the area been so badly neglected by scholarly research?
This book is not, perhaps, for those with a casual or passing interest in the genre; some degree of academic knowledge and awareness of related literature is assumed here. However, throughout the study, Harrod makes a strong case for academic »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Filmed during the height of the Euro Western craze of the late 60’s, Robert Hossein’s Cemetery Without Crosses is an obscure gem rejuvenated by Arrow Video. A French production, the title was actor/director Hossein’s first Western, obviously influenced by Sergio Leone, whom the film is dedicated to (Leone was in the midst of production on Once Upon a Time in the West when Hossein was underway with his feature). A simplistic and familiar narrative is enhanced by its inspired set designs and notable production value, featuring a winning score. Existing on the bleak end of the Spaghetti Western spectrum (or perhaps more aptly the ‘Baguette Western,” an Alex Cox coined term Ginette Vincendeau discusses in an included insert essay), it’s an entertaining bit of style over substance, and is an uncommon French entry in otherwise familiar climate. However, as much as Hossein pays homage to Leone, »
- Nicholas Bell
A Spaghetti Western with a French director and star may seem an odd combination, but this is exactly what we get with Cemetery Without Crosses aka The Rope and the Colt. Inspired by the success of the Dollars trilogy and dedicated to Sergio Leone, this is yet another addition to the Arrow Video classic releases.
After a family of Bandits lynches her husband, Maria Caine (Michèle Mercier) turns to old an old friend Manuel (Robert Hossein) to exact her revenge. At first reluctant to help, he finally gives in, donning his black glove and infiltrating the family to force a showdown between them and Caine which may just lead to all of their dooms.
Directed by and starring Robert Hossein, the first thing that makes the Western stand out is the catchy theme song sung by Scott Walker. The lynching this leads into sets up the revenge and leads us to the introduction of Manuel, »
- Paul Metcalf
Cemetery Without Crosses (Une corde, une Colt), 1969.
Directed by Robert Hossein.
After her husband is lynched by bandits, a grieving widow seeks revenge and turns to an old friend for help. He is initially reluctant but soon infiltrates her enemies to force a showdown.
This bleak homage to Sergio Leone and the cult of the spaghetti-western is a stylish and atmospheric take on the genre. Bringing a philosophical depth to proceedings, the French/Italian/Spanish production provides enough intriguing ambiguities for a worthy slice of realism. Essentially amoral, it sets out to present the universal truth that people of all kinds are capable of both good and bad.
The stirring central theme (with vocals by Scott Walker) is probably the most typically Western thing about the movie. »
- Robert W Monk
Between his high profile marriages to Brigitte Bardot and Jane Fonda, director Roger Vadim engaged in a notable liaison with Catherine Deneuve, just prior to her ascension to international stardom in 1964’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Having brought Bardot to fame with his most notable title, his 1956 debut And God Created Woman, their working relationship would continue across several more titles, even as he married another actress, Annette Stroyberg, who starred in his 1959 version of Dangerous Liaisons and the erotic vampire flick Blood & Roses. Between these flurry of romances, Vadim would return to black and white cinematography (which he seemed to prefer for evoking period) with 1963’s Vice and Virtue a loose adaptation of the Marquis De Sade’s controversial erotic novel Justine for WWII era occupied France, resulting in his only collaboration with Deneuve as the virtuous member of a pair of beautiful sisters surviving on opposite ends of the oppressive Nazi spectrum. »
- Nicholas Bell
Catherine Deneuve: César Award Besst Actress Record-Tier (photo: Catherine Deneuve in 'In the Courtyard / Dans la cour') (See previous post: "Kristen Stewart and Catherine Deneuve Make César Award History.") Catherine Deneuve has received 12 Best Actress César nominations to date. Deneuve's nods were for the following movies (year of film's release): Pierre Salvadori's In the Courtyard / Dans la Cour (2014). Emmanuelle Bercot's On My Way / Elle s'en va (2013). François Ozon's Potiche (2010). Nicole Garcia's Place Vendôme (1998). André Téchiné's Thieves / Les voleurs (1996). André Téchiné's My Favorite Season / Ma saison préférée (1993). Régis Wargnier's Indochine (1992). François Dupeyron's Strange Place for an Encounter / Drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre (1988). Jean-Pierre Mocky's Agent trouble (1987). André Téchiné's Hotel America / Hôtel des Amériques (1981). François Truffaut's The Last Metro / Le dernier métro (1980). Jean-Paul Rappeneau's Le sauvage (1975). Additionally, Catherine Deneuve was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category »
- Steve Montgomery
7 items from 2015
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