Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
Valerie, a beautiful young girl, watches over her cousin's place while he is away for six months. Not one to take advantage of her new "digs", she spends her first night there reading, ... See full summary »
A young woman is questioned by the police and the judges, suspected of being a modern witch. The girl who shared her apartment has been found dead, and a pair of scissors impaled through ... See full summary »
When Carolina (Anicee Alvina), the daughter of wealthy banker Georges de Saxe (Philippe Noiret), is reported kidnapped, it is upsetting to him even though he knows it isn't true. The ... See full summary »
The title to this underrated follow-up to director Pécas "I Am A Nymphomaniac" seems to mislead people into thinking this film doesn't deliver the eurosex goods. It does! For me personally ... See full summary »
Michel Lemoine has had an intriguing career in world cinema, from his early days in the 1950's as a low rent matinée idol in movies as diverse as Julien Duvivier's spirited LA FETE A HENRIETTE and Maurice Cloche's hoary old school melodrama LA PORTEUSE DE PAIN through some of the weirder European genre efforts of the 1960's including Antonio Margheriti's aptly titled WILD, WILD PLANET and Jean Josipovici and Ambrogio Molteni's unjustly overlooked DELITTO ALLO SPECCHIO. By decade's end, he was mostly supporting his impossibly glamorous spouse Janine Reynaud, a former fashion model for French designer Jean Patou, in Jess Franco's amusing RED LIPS movies and especially his delirious NECRONOMICON a/k/a SUCCUBUS. His imagination fueled by these risqué endeavors as well as his own prior collaborations with the tentatively titillating Max Pécas on his naughty noirs LE CRI DE LA CHAIR and LA DROGUE DU VICE, Lemoine would craft his own brand of erotica throughout the 1970's, joining the vast ranks of formerly "respectable" yet commercially flawed filmmakers turned hardcore pornographers (Francis Leroi, Claude Mulot, Claude Bernard-Aubert, etc.) when the market dictated as much. Like so many brethren in boinking, he was to create an alter ego for this initial sideline and thus "Michel Leblanc" came into being. Trivia : he signed his first explicit entry 1978's otherwise unremarkable LANGUES PROFONDES as "Michel Blanc" only to slightly tweak his pseudonym when the French "Café Théâtre" comedian of the same name rose to popularity !
The last of Lemoine's early '70s erotic quartet ties with LES CONFIDENCES EROTIQUES D'UN LIT TROP ACCUEILLANT for most lightweight of that lot, all of them recently released on French DVD alas, no subtitles as a modestly priced box set. While both LES DESAXEES and LES CHIENNES had been darker works, the director had put his ear to the wall and was now cashing in on the carnal comedy routine made popular by Jean-François Davy's BANANES MECANIQUES. Re-christened JEUNES FILLES EN EXTASE, the movie's original title contained a cute if difficult to translate play on words, a "sainte nitouche" being the kind of girl who invites the remark that "butter wouldn't melt in her mouth", though it literally means "untouchable Saint" ! More than just a clever gimmick, it actually offers a clue as to the film's final twist. An apparent class reunion at an all girl college dedicated to Saint Joan of Arc prompts a series of erotic confessions from the former pupils, among whom are several of the most gorgeous skin starlets of that irretrievably innocent era. Beautiful blond Marie Hélène Regne, who was moonlighting in more graphic fare as "Noëlle Louvet" as Davy's LES PORNOCRATES and his subsequent groundbreaking EXHIBITION demonstrate, provides a delightful tease as she's snared by what she believes to be a British Lothario (Robert Icart a/k/a Robert de Laroche from Lemoine's subsequent delirious masterpiece LES WEEKENDS MALEFIQUES DU COMTE ZAROFF) on her trip to Swinging London. Most of the sexy stories poke fun at stereotyped supposed differences between morals of the French and English, the latter now laughably coming out on top as being more liberated ! Sultry Nathalie Zeiger, unforgettable in Daniel Daert's exquisite LES FELINES, is the girl on the boat, distracted from her long distance swimmer boyfriend by the hunky captain. Raven-haired Maria Mancini, who was in both Davy's chaotic Q and Pécas' minor SEXUELLEMENT VOTRE, plays Brit babe Pamela who cons a trio of wannabe studs into doing her bidding by pretending she doesn't understand a word of French.
Best episodes involve some of the lesser name performers however. Lemoine regular Martine Azencot is shown around Paris by her earnest fiancé when she spots a handsome hunk (Christian Duroc from Davy's PRENEZ LA QUEUE COMME TOUT LE MONDE and Daert's spooky LES FILLES DE MALEMORT) following them around, with some rather unexpected consequences. An anecdote concerning English teacher Jane (creamy brunette Aurore Benny) seducing her young charge under his bossy mother's watchful eye gets most laughs, rivaled only by the mix-up of an innocent au pair (dusky-skinned Régine Cardot) and a high class call girl (cult favorite Joëlle Coeur, the indelible villainess from Jean Rollin's amazing LES DEMONIAQUES) who are inadvertently sent to a kink-loving Lord and a white bread British family respectively. Most explicit segment has members of the Male/Female Liberation Front (or something ) and their paramours making out to the strains of Verdi's Slave Choir from "Nabucco". Watch for sensuously featured Brigitte de Borghese, an actress with surprising longevity she would pop up over a decade later in Rollin's ramshackle LES TROTTOIRS DE BANGKOK about whom I always had the sneaking suspicion that perhaps she wasn't born a natural woman, if you catch my drift ! Ultimately, it is revealed that all these young ladies have just taken their vows to enter the convent the reunion has been held at ! Cameraman Philippe Théaudière and composer Guy Bonnet would remain faithful to Lemoine well into his XXX period and aid him beautifully here in sustaining erotic tension through mood in accordance with his languid build-up. Trivia, the sequel : Bonnet was a modestly successful singer who actually represented his native country twice on the Eurovision Song Contest, in 1970 and 1983, ending up in 4th and 8th place respectively.
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