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This is Bertrand Blier's sophomore effort -not counting his short called "La Grimace" ;and he directs his own father Bernard ,a legend of the French cinema.
This is probably the most offbeat movie of Bernard Blier's brilliant career :the supporting cast is pretty strong ,featuring such luminaries as Bruno Cremer,Suzanne Flon ,and Claude Pïéplu ;the latter would provide the voice who talks about the testicles in Bertrand Blier's "Les Valseuses" trailer.
"Si J'Etais Un Espion" is wrapped in mystery ;when the movie ends who may know the ins and outs of the question? A doctor has to help threatening people find one of his patients whose file has disappeared from his office;if he does not cooperate,his daughter may meet with an accident,tomorrow, in six months or more... "They" know that the doctor met this patient in Poland ,on the other side of the iron curtain at the time."They" spy on the girl,knowing where she is at any time of day or night."They" harass him,as "they" know he might have some secret to conceal.
Bertrand Blier imprisons his characters in an urban landscape :streets leading nowhere,stairwells so high you do not seem to find the top or the bottom,phone calls coming from nowhere ("I do not even where your daughter is" ,Cremer says ,when she is abducted).
It may be an abstract metaphor dealing with guilty feeling ,skeletons in the cupboard (the slides );it may be about paranoia and the fear of losing a well-ordered existence.In Blier's first work "Hitler Connais Pas" ,there was a very straight boy ,whose dad owned a plant and whose future was all mapped out:one blip is enough to bring everything grinding to a halt;the last picture perplexes the viewer :what has Cremer given to Blier?His car's keys ? Or something else better left unsaid.
The first two movies by Bertrand Blier were largely ignored by the audience.It all happened in 1974 with his blockbuster "Les Valseuses" ,but I can't relate to that.
Like this? Try these....
The trial/Le Procès (Orson Welles,1963)
Les Espions (Henri-Georges Clouzot,1957)
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