Original footage of the prosperous farming community of Glencoe Minnesota, 60 miles west of Minneapolis, was filmed in 1979 for a PBS documentary. But for the next six years Malle was too ... See full summary »
With minimal narration by the director and very little context this is a kaleidoscope of stunning visuals from Calcutta, a city of 8,000,000 in the late 1960's: rich and poor, exotic and ... See full summary »
After acknowledging his own immigrant background, Malle, tries to present the range of immigrant experiences in the US during the 1980's. In an attempt to be comprehensive, the film ... See full summary »
Anastasio Samosa Portocarrero
This merry farce depicts a satirical view of the French society: Ten-year-old Zazie has to stay two days with her relatives in Paris, so that her mother can spend some time with her lover. ... See full summary »
Garvey is a San Francisco pawnshop operator. His unemployed and criminal friends Dillard, Turtle, and Weslake, team up with Boardwalk, a local pimp, to burgle Garvey's shop while the owner ... See full summary »
In Paris around 1900, Georges Randal is brought up by his wealthy uncle, who steals his inheritance. Georges hopes to marry his cousin Charlotte, but his uncle arranges for her to marry a ... See full summary »
If you are a fan of cycling and fascinated with bicycle race history this is a must see short film. Shown in the film are a number of the all time great racers - such as Jacques Anquetil (first 5-time winner of the Tour De France). But, this film does not focus on heroes by any means. Most of the footage shows the and seldom considered and rarely seen moments which made this famous race such a unique part of French culture.
We can observe groups of racers dashing into small cafés along the route where they literally steal any glass bottles of beer or wine which they can carry away stuffed in their Jersey pockets. Then they share their loot with riders of opposing teams as they all ride on. Then, of course, nature calls. Now we see dismounted racers stopped in private moments as they stand at the roadside to relieve themselves and another even executes the awkward pose from his saddle while a teammate riding beside pushes the bike. We would never see Lance Armstrong stopping to dip his overheated shoes in a village fountain, and riders today would never happily drink from a crude plastic container offered by a fan along the route or stop to fill water bottles from a public fountain or a fan's garden hose. Reporters at days end type their copy on portable manual typewriters (not laptop computers)... and they phone in press reports from rows of tables trailing miles of phone wires and fitted with small canopies to shield each telephone from the loud multilingual din during this era long before the ever present cell phone and satellite video links.
Nuns and priests flock to the roadside and cheer on the racers passing through rural villages right along with what must be the entire population of France. It is not simply a race but joyous national event. Colorful corporate sponsored vehicles (comparable in their local familiarity to the Oscar-Meyer "Weinermobile" in the US) follow the tour, some throwing publicity trinkets into the crowds of fans, and a carnival like atmosphere is present all along the route.
Some racers still carry extra sew-up tires wrapped over their shoulders just as they did many decades earlier. On the dark side, each day, some riders claiming a dinner of "bad fish" but in fact exhausted from taking too many amphetamines slump at the roadside unable to continue. Helmets were simply never worn. One rider bleeding badly from his head but still riding, is aided by his team car... they just stuff a bit of bandage against the wound to be held down by a cotton cycling cap. And the famous "Broom Wagon" which follows the main convoy of official vehicles is seen as it stops to "sweep up" the occasional straggler who has finally given up his race.
The film is like a collection of countless candid snapshots from a time and Tour which we will never see again. I would guess a 16 mm. Arriflex would have been all anyone could have mounted on any following vehicle and the quality of the footage is not flawless. The film was later copyrighted by the director in 1976, but it was shot 14 years earlier. So, this was not a polished work by the same director of later years. He was only 30 years old at the time and with only 2 feature films under his belt. But he clearly had a Frenchman's passion for cycling and a keen eye for the whole atmosphere surrounding the event. I think it is a truly wonderful little treat and one which I am still pleased to have found - and have watched repeatedly.
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