Like his compatriot Serge Bourguignon ("Cybèle Ou Les Dimanches De Ville D'Avray"),Marcel Camus could be said to have started his career at the top ("Orfeo Negro") and worked his way down.Like him,it's extraordinary he fell so quickly with such a golden start.
The problem is ,as interesting as his "Chant Du Monde" may well be,Camus lacks the artistry to use all the elements towards an overall vision.He seems more interested in the bits than the whole.This overindulgence with the ideas themselves weakens the effect of the film as a whole.
"Le Chant Du Monde" promised great things : a novel by Jean Giono,a bevy of talented actors,a nice score by Andre Hossein ,and above all ,a superlative cinematography which enhances the splendid Provençal landscapes."Chant Du Monde " had the potential of a fascinating work but Camus lacks the skill in weaving his elements together.It's sometimes difficult to follow the plot.A great director such as Julien Duvivier or Carné could liven up his movie by using dozens of characters ;Camus cannot .His heroes are lacking substance and in spite of the talent of such luminaries as Vanel or Hardy Krüger,they are not really exciting.This cast ,although appealing at first sight is questionable :none of them has got the Provençal accent ,Hardy Krüger is German ,and although he is fluent in French ,he seems to be dubbed;and what about Catherine Deneuve who will be the main interest for today's audience?She appears a few minutes at the beginning of the film,then disappears during one hour before reappearing to secure a happy end .
NB:"Besson" means "twin" in provincial dialect."Red Hair" had a twin who died ,that's we are told when Matelot meets "Bouche D'Or".The word was also used by George Sand in "La Petite Fadette".
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