Louise, younger sister, natural and straightforward, lives in province; Martine, older sister, beautiful and aloof, lives in the Parisian upper middle class. Louise has written a novel. On ... See full summary »
Young Queen Margot finds herself trapped in an arranged marriage amidst a religious war between Catholics and Protestants. She hopes to escape with a new lover, but finds herself imprisoned by her powerful and ruthless family.
Since Luc granted a divorce to Pascale ten years ago, he paid generous alimony and left a fine country house as long as their twin sons remain at home. Pascale always acted as if she was ... See full summary »
Drawing some intriguing parallels between the work of the prostitute and that of the psychiatrist-both have clients, both charge for sessions, both take on roles that serve the needs, ... See full summary »
In Lausanne, the aspirant pianist Jeanne Pollet has lunch with her mother Louise Pollet, her boyfriend Axel and his mother. Lenna leans that when she was born, a nurse had mistakenly told ... See full summary »
Villa Amalia is the story of Ann, a musician, whose life is turned upside down by a kiss. When she sees Thomas kissing another woman, Ann makes a clean break, leaving him and everything ... See full summary »
Contre l'Oubli (Against Oblivion) is a compilation of 30 French filmmakers, Alain Resnais and Jean Luc Godard among them, who use film to make a plea on behalf of a political prisoner. Jean... See full summary »
A disturbed young woman is kept prisoner in a castle by her aunt for her money. The game-keeper, her guardian, tries to rape her but she escapes. In her flight she meets a man also running ... See full summary »
Paris shortly before World War I. Wealthy and self-satisfied, Jean Hervey is returning home from work, describing life with his wife of 10 years, Gabrielle; he values her as impassive and stolid. However, that day she's gone, leaving a letter that she's joining a man she loves. Jean is devastated, but within minutes she's returned, telling him that her resolve has failed. Over the next two days, he questions, demands, begs, and parries with her: why did she leave, why did she return, does she love him, did she ever love him, who is her lover, is she passionate with her lover? She's calm as alabaster, reserved. Is she in danger? When she makes an offer, how will he respond? Written by
Obviously we don't all like the same things. One commentator said it was all just talk, as if that were a bad thing. I happen to love language and words, and in particular love the French language. So that is the reason I rent a movie in French. I also have a very strong aversion to "action movies" where language is reduced to "Ow! Help! Duck!" On the other hand, movies like Gabrielle where minute movements of the psyche are explored in depth by minimalistic means, these are what grip me, move me, keep me interested. I do not really think the movie is like an opera -- it was more like a french play -- the delivery and velocity of the spoken word was very much in the style of french live theater.
My only caveat is that French-ness and Conrad seem a strange mix to me. There was another French movie that was made on a Conrad text, and I had a similar reaction. Conrad is not writing about French society. And yet the action has been transplanted to France. And it seems an entirely incongruous transplant to me -- plopping the joyless uprightness of puritanical England (the only place name mentioned is "West End Station" into a such a lively Latin culture which has always had a much more relaxed attitude towards love and sex... well,to me it's just incongruous.
Nevertheless, it was an cleverly crafted movie, and the musical score by Fabio Vacchi was unearthly beautiful.
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