The young and patriotic student Demachy joins the French army in 1914 to defend his country. But he and his comrades soon experience the terrifying, endless trench war in Champagne, where ... See full summary »
Shavian social satire. Odette is an actress who's now the mistress of a government minister. Her household of cook, maid, and chauffeur needs a valet. On the eve of going with the minister ... See full summary »
André Chatelin is a restaurant owner in Les Halles in Paris. One morning, a girl named Catherine asks to see him. She happens to be the daughter of his estranged wife, Gabrielle, that André... See full summary »
The first to die in an epidemic of meningitis in Vera Cruz is a French tourist. His wife Nellie, detached and indifferent, feels little grief and realizes that her coldness is her own doom.... See full summary »
Rafael E. Portas
Carlos López Moctezuma
Those five are unemployed penniless workers. Together they win 100,000 Francs with the national lottery. Instead of sharing the money, they buy a ruin and build an open-air cafe. But ... See full summary »
Roland Brissot bought for a nickel a talisman that gives him love, fame and wealth. The talisman is a cut left hand, and it works perfectly. But of course there is nothing free in this ... See full summary »
One is perfectly justified to see this as social satire, but for me Guthry's "La poison" (1951) is, above all, an easygoing, darkly humorous and witty pastiche on acting in all its forms taking on roles in marriage, in society, in one's own eyes, in others' eyes, and of course, in a film. The opening introductory credit sequence sets the mood perfectly, as there we are explicitly shown that we will witness a performance that has been carefully planned, all actors, actresses and staff selected. I don't think this is just a stylistic whim of exuberance, it's an actual set-up for us. There are several references to theatre with exits and entrances through doors, and space is handled with confines, scenes as separate entities, spaces as separate entities. And then there's the central scene in the lawyer's office, where they literally create a fabrication that when inverted becomes the desired reality for Simon's character. Reconstruction, deconstruction, all of this means the same in this wonderful scene.
The chimera and the clown, death and joy that's what the film is also about. This contrast of tragedy and comedy, its light-hearted darkness, presents itself also in the title, playing with the meaning of poison ("le poison" in French, with the masculine article) and the mocking identifier "la poison" (with the feminine article) given to well, by all means watch the film and you'll find out.
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