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La femme publique (1984)

An unexperienced young actress is invited to play a role in a film based on Dostoyevsky's 'The Possessed'. The film director, a Czech immigrant in Paris, takes over her life, and in a short... See full summary »

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(scenario), (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Francis Huster ...
Lucas Kessling
...
Ethel (as Valerie Kaprisky)
...
Milan Mliska
...
Le père d'Ethel
...
Gertrude
...
André, le photographe
Diane Delor ...
Elena Mliska
Jean-Paul Farré ...
Pierre
Olivier Achard ...
Le premier assistant réalisateur
Yveline Ailhaud ...
Rachel
Michel Albertini ...
Maurice
Marianne Basler ...
Une jeune anarchiste
Nathalie Bécue ...
L'habilleuse (as Nathalie Becue)
...
François
René Bériard ...
Mgr Shlapas (as Rene Beriard)
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Storyline

An unexperienced young actress is invited to play a role in a film based on Dostoyevsky's 'The Possessed'. The film director, a Czech immigrant in Paris, takes over her life, and in a short time she is unable to draw the line between acting and reality. She winds up playing a real-life role posing as the dead wife of another Czech immigrant, who is manipulated by the filmmaker into commiting a political assasination. Written by Yuri German <blsidt1@imf.org>

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Drama

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Release Date:

16 May 1984 (France)  »

Also Known As:

La femme publique  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Valérie Kaprisky took dance lessons to perform her two nude dance scenes. She practiced to the music of David Bowie and two of his songs were played on set during the scenes. But obtaining the rights to use Bowie's music would have eclipsed the film's entire budget, so composer Alain Wisniak had to create new music to go with the footage. See more »

Connections

References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Grande messe en Ut' Mineur KV 427
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as W.A. Mozart)
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User Reviews

 
maddening
17 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

Struggling actress Ethel (Valérie Kaprisky) does private nude modeling sessions for photographer André. Famed director Lucas Kessling wants her as lead in his adaptation of Dostoyevsky's "The Possessed". They get into a relationship and a surreal film production. He recruits dishwasher Milan Mliska (Lambert Wilson) to be her possessive disturbed husband as reality and fiction blend into this unreal journey.

This is an unreal film. Kaprisky is sexually unencumbered and magnetically charismatic. She does plenty of strut-walking. She powerfully fills the screen. Lucas Kessling is an intriguing mercurial character. The surrealism is interesting at first but it gets maddeningly unreal. The wild swings and crazy 180 turns frustrated me. There is one scene in particular where Ethel faints and completely recover immediately with everybody ignoring what happened. It's a cheap kind of surrealism. It's almost student film level. Other parts like her nude photography is unforgettable. At some point, the weird surreal twists and turns bored me by their unhinged-nature.


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