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María Luisa García,
Michel, a retired math teacher, has lived alone since his wife's death & occupies his time writing an essay about the beliefs that shape daily life. One day he comes across Dora, a young ... See full summary »
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Middle-aged Napa Valley grape-grower Tony posts a marriage proposal to San Francisco waitress Lena enclosing a photo of his handsome younger brother Buck. When she gets there she overlooks ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
After having been interned in a concentration camp by the Nazis, Professor Taumen, a Jewish surgeon, and his future daughter-in-law leave Italy for Palestine. Once there they are guided by ... See full summary »
The scene is the Pontine Marshes, a disease-ridden region. The year is 1902. Maria Goretti, a twelve-year-old girl, lives with her parents, poor farm hands, in the house of Serenelli, a ... See full summary »
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In the movie,these worn out shoes are people who worked all their life for almost nothing .Less pessimistic than former Brisseau's works such as "Un Jeu Brutal" or "De Bruit Et De Fureur",it's nonetheless a rather difficult work:Brisseau is like mercury,in a word:elusive.
There will probably be as many different comments(and I mean different) as there are users who will write about it.I think it is a fable which deals with an unfair society.
Fred is a generous guy ;he is the person Neil Young depicts in "Heart of Gold".He gives all his savings to the needy:but saints are a nuisance to live with at home ,and in the world we live in,it takes a lot of faith and a total commitment to succeed(in France ,people like L'Abbé Pierre);no compromise is possible:his wife can't go on living like that and his boss fires him.He could take to the road ,as Bunuel's "Nazarin" did,but he does not have faith.So he turns into a modern Robin Hood ,stealing from the rich and giving to the poor ; with his new girlfriend, they become idealized Bonnie and Clyde.
Maguette,the mysterious black man they meet along the way, brings his strange wisdom;he tries to deal with the golden rules of society ,just to prove how absurd they may be: a royal heir in his native Africa,he can turn into a lawyer or into a chief inspector of schools:for that matter,you must remember that Brisseau is a former teacher and he is hard on his colleagues:what's the point of studying a ditty such as "Comme D'Habitude " (a song which enjoyed countless covers as "My way") ?Maguette,the would be inspector urges the students to rebel in a sequence probably inspired by Vigo's "Zero De Conduite". The failure of the state education,as far as the underprivileged pupils are concerned, shows in Fred's total ignorance:in the Provençal country,his girlfriend teaches him reading ,writing and arithmetic :he seems fascinated by the division algorithm. The final is a travesty of a trial ,for Brisseau does not seem -like many of his compatriots - to believe in French justice anymore either :the concurrency of sentences is nothing but a joke on French law.
Some people play their game well,as it is the case with Jacques:played by an excellent-smiling but almost deadpan- Philippe Caroit whose appearance is much too short ;dressed up to the nines ,he shows his crooked pal that when you cut down on works ,the profit you make is nil.Elodie,Fred's ex-wife makes no mistake when she chooses him to live a life of luxury :her metamorphosis into an elegant sophisticated socialite is stupefying.That's safe establishment.
And ,all in all,it's the good grandmother who's got the last word :her wisdom makes sense ,as she justifies her grandson's behavior .And the choice of Paulette Dubost whose career spans the whole century (she was supporting in "Hotel Du Nord" in 1937 ,in "Lola Montès" in 1955 or in " Le Dernier Metro" in 1981) ,what a fine idea!
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