Maurice Pialat's portrait of contemporary France mocks prosperity as a substitute for social and sexual revolution. Nelly abandons her bourgeois friends and a steady relationship for the ... See full summary »
The story begins on the autumn of 1654 in South France. Eloise lives in a cloister. Her famous father left her there. The young lady is enthusiastic about honour, faithfulness, affection to... See full summary »
In a vacation camp somewhere in the French country, 1960. Marc et Philippe are two of the counsellors. Marc is very virile, while Philippe is more reserved. A night, Marc surprises Philippe... See full summary »
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The two directors meander through rural Mississippi in search of the spirit of local music and society. Highlights the heritage of William Faulkner, the role of Black churches, and gospel and blues music.
Louis, a nine-year-old boy from Paris, spends his summer vacation in a small town in Brittany. His mother Claire has lodged him with her girlfriend Marcelle and her husband Pelo while she's... See full summary »
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Early in the 19th century, Edward and Carlotta, in love 20 years ago, find each other and marry. After a year's bliss at his Tuscan villa, Edward begs to invite Otto, an architect and ... See full summary »
In an interwar France struggling with profound social and political change, 18-year-old Violette Noziere rebels against the constraints of her claustrophobic, working-class (and possibly incestuous) family, with troubling consequences.
Two strange sisters live in a crumbling mansion, where they keep a pet ape, which belonged to their late father, locked in a cage. While one of the sisters seems to be keeping her head on ... See full summary »
Bertrand Tavernier is in top form with this gripping, superbly mounted drama set against the savage Catholic/Protestant wars that ripped France apart in the 16th century. Based on a novella... See full summary »
The `spoiled' of the title is used in its various senses in the treatment written by director Bertrand Tavernier, actress Christine Pascal, and Charlotte Dubriel. The children treated by Catherine Rougerie (Arlette Bonnard) are spoiled because they have `blocked communication'. The tenants of the building where Catherine's writer/director husband Bernard (Michel Piccoli) resides for work purposes are spoiled as they are abused by their landlord. Bernard in his relationship with the unemployed tenant Anne (Pascal) is spoiled since the affair is an indulgence, where he `risks nothing'. Bernard moving to the unit to work is not an overt comment on his marriage, it is just a way of working, and the affair with Anne is more convenient than passionate, at least for him. This, and Anne's situation determine the finite nature of their love. And although the Tenants Defence Committee action brings Anne to Bernard, it and Catherine's teaching and even the film Bernard is writing remain sub-plots, to the affair.
Tavernier also does not present the lovers equally - Piccoli is barely in the love scenes, the most we see is his bare chest with an undone shirt, whereas Pascal is exposed in full frontal nudity. Pascal's gallic urchin child quality, with eye-lined eyes and submissive posture, could recall someone like Audrey Hepburn if the director were interested in presenting her as attractive. However the screenplay's association of love with death and knives and rust clues us into Tavernier's stance. Anne is like the other sad Parisians who are seen in vista as La Traviata plays on the soundtrack.
Although Tavernier's view of urban ugliness is a nice change to his Renoir-ish representation of rural beauty, his films always read as too long. Here he uses hand-held and subjective camera, natural lighting, and a narration which comes from nowhere. The only redeeming qualities are Piccoli's angry outbursts which are funny, Anne throwing food in response to her ex-boyfriend's arrogance, and spotting Isabelle Huppert's cameo.
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