Michel Audiard was first a screenwriters whose lines for the last Gabin movies were often memorable ;in 1968,he began a director career and produced a lot of comedies a la Française such as" Faut Pas Prendre Les Enfants Du Bon Dieu Pour Des Enfants Sauvages" or "Le Drapeau Noir Flotte Sur La Marmite" ,the titles speak for themselves.
If the stubborn witty spirit of Sacha Guitry whispered in someone's ears in 1974,it's certainly Michel Audiard's ;Guitry told,in his own way ,the history of his country ,but he stops at WW2,because he runs into trouble after the Liberation.
Fans of Godard ,be warned though:this is not the kind of movie you may expect:unlike Guitry ,who reconstructed history,Audiard's effort is a documentary,which entirely consists of archival footage ,from ,roughly,the pre-WW2 era to present (1974 that is;when Georges Pompidou was president:he was to die that very year)
Audiard tells the story :he is caustic ,insolent ,his voice recalling that of Guitry in his historical works:for instance,a Reductio ad Absurdum proves us that the Vichy government did not happen!Many songs are included ,notably " En Revenant De La Revue" ,which was heard in Renoir's "La Règle Du Jeu" (1939).In spite of the title,France does not always come off well in all those years.
Unlike the other Audiard movies,this one is almost never screened on TV;it as not a success when it was theatrically released :the form certainly put off the audience who did not recognize "their Audiard"
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