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Jours tranquilles à Clichy (1990)

 -  Drama  -  9 May 1990 (France)
4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 355 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

Expatriate Henry Miller indulges in a variety of sexual escapades while struggling to establish himself as a serious writer in Paris.

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(adaptation), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Title: Jours tranquilles à Clichy (1990)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Barbara De Rossi ...
Nys
Stéphanie Cotta ...
...
Ania Regentag
Eva Grimaldi ...
Yvonne
...
Edith
Giuditta Del Vecchio
...
Mario Adorf ...
Ernest Regentag
Elide Melli
Henri Attal
Jean-Marie Arnoux
Hélène Benayon
Jacques Brunet ...
Colette's father
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Storyline

The American writer Joe arrives in Paris to research and write about Proust. He meets the Polish Karl and they become friends and costumers of brothels and restaurants. When the fifteen year-old Colette arrives in Paris, they both fall in love with her. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Drama

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Release Date:

9 May 1990 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Quiet Days in Clichy  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

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(Eastmancolor)
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Alternate-language version of Quiet Days in Clichy (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

A colourful journey into an imaginary past
24 September 2013 | by (France) – See all my reviews

Reviewers have complained that this film does not capture enough of the book by Henry Miller and includes things he did not write. Of the additions, for me the frame story rings poignant and true. On the Californian coast we see the dying Miller obsessed by one last unconsummated passion for a beautiful young nude model, a recreation of the bewitching teenage Colette he had lost. Outside on the beach the ghosts of his old Parisian friends gather for him to join them. Then we move into his memories.

Of these, the added stuff about fascism and communism in 1930s Paris does seem feeble. But my defence for both departures is that they are at worst ironic and at best comic. The real Miller and some of his friends may have taken themselves fairly seriously but in this film the cavortings and occasional soul-searchings of American exiles in Paris, immune from the harsh political facts of European life, border on the absurd. His devotion to Proust is treated satirically and to a Parisian his frequent comparisons with Brooklyn are merely ridiculous.

In fact we see virtually no real Paris, the city being most of the time conveyed by sets, which deliberately distance the story to a dreamy insubstantial past. Like the artificiality of the book, the film creates a fantasy world, one of untrustworthy recollection from a gifted, persuasive but ultimately unreliable narrator. Though actuality does intrude when Colette runs away and jumps onto a very real Metro train, so leaving the imaginary sphere for the quotidian.

While intensely autobiographical, incorporating wholesale people he knew at the time, Miller's work is fiction. It is not a diary but a melody spun out of his experience, looking beyond outward events to his inward poetic and philosophical reflections. This last dimension is what I miss in Chabrol's film, which mostly stays closer to the colourful surface occurrences of the characters' lives. Although I don't think many male viewers will complain about the often revealed surfaces of the many lovely women.


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