After killing a child when his plane crashes in a Vietnamese village, Pierre suffers from delayed stress and partial amnesia. Returning to France, he lives like a vegetable until he meets a...
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Agnes, a lonely teenage girl, and her father befriend an escaped convict, named Joseph, who arrives at their farm in Brittany, France. When Joseph develops an attraction to Agnes, her father threatens to break up the union.
In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods) is kidnapped by ... See full summary »
Slovakia during WW2. Tono lives a poor life, but the authorities offer him to take over the Jewish widow Lautman's little shop for sewing material. She is old and confused and thinks that ... See full summary »
In World War II, the widow Barny sees the Italian soldiers arriving in occupied Saint Bernard while walking to her job. Barny lives with her daughter and works correcting tests and feels a ... See full summary »
Charles is a young provincial coming up to Paris to study law. He shares his cousin Paul's flat. Paul is a kind of decadent boy, a disillusioned pleasure-seeker, always dragging along with ... See full summary »
Madame Rosa lives in a sixth-floor walkup in the Pigalle; she's a retired prostitute, Jewish and an Auschwitz survivor, a foster mom to children of other prostitutes. Momo is the oldest and... See full summary »
In the year that Cannes Film Festival handed out awards to Federico Fellini for La Dolce Vita, L'avventura by Michelangelo Antonioni, and Kagi by Kon Ichikawa -- 'Le Sourire' won the Palm ... See full summary »
After killing a child when his plane crashes in a Vietnamese village, Pierre suffers from delayed stress and partial amnesia. Returning to France, he lives like a vegetable until he meets a young girl who has been dumped by her father at a boarding school. Posing as her father, Pierre contrives to meet the girl every Sunday, to play with her and perhaps recover his memory. The innocent friendship is misread by nearly everyone, even people who know Pierre well. A classic of old French art films. Written by
Molly Malloy <email@example.com>
The great Studio Criterion has launched in USA a blu-ray of this beautiful movie in pristine edition, on the comments the Actor who played Pierre and tha actress who Played Francoise/Cybelle talk about how they got in the film production and the relationship with director and other crew. See more »
This film is first and foremost beautiful. The beauty of the B&W cinematography is appalling. The composition is perfect. The delicate range of grays achieve a silky texture that has an almost tactile feeling. The music by Jarré is beautiful. The child actress Patricia Gozzi is nothing but angelical in her blooming beauty.
The story is simple; a former war pilot with war trauma and amnesia and an abandoned little girl meet by chance and desperately cling to each other so as to find company and salvation. The child becomes the more mature of the couple, the adult goes along innocently and follows her counsel, advancing inexorably to his own destruction. The well intended (well, more or less well intended) adult world does not understand the delicate platonic relation, reads it as sinful and deviant, and proceeds to destroy it. The final scene is one of the most painful and desolate in the history of cinema, even though its beauty is unforgettable.
The weakness of the movie is that it has not survived well the end of the sixties. Its aesthetics is too connected to the conventions of the time. The human relations are not real enough for our time. There is a degree of rigidity, idealization and oversimplification that does not allow the film to stay alive, as is the case with the masterpieces of Fellini and Bergman. However, this does not detract the movie from its serene beauty, its evocative power, and all the nostalgic pain of a lost love.
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