Prof. Henri Laborit uses the stories of the lives of three people to discuss behaviorist theories of survival, combat, rewards and punishment, and anxiety. René is a technical manager at a ... See full summary »
In the seacoast town of Boulogne, Hélène sells antique furniture, living with her step-son, Bernard, who's back from military duty in Algiers. An old lover of Hélène's comes to visit - ... See full summary »
Diego is one of the chief of the spanish Communist Party. He is travelling back to Paris (where he lives) from a mission in Madrid. He is arrested at the border for an identity check but ... See full summary »
Irrestisible charm and talent helps Serge Alexandre alias Stavisky, small-time swindler, to make friends with even most influential members of French industrial and political elite during ... See full summary »
Clive Langham (Sir John Gielgud) spends one tormenting night in his bed suffering from health problems and thinking up a story based on his relatives. He is a bitter man and he shows, ... See full summary »
Recovering from an attempted suicide, a man is selected to participate in a time travel experiment that has only been tested on mice. A malfunction in the experiment causes the man to ... See full summary »
Although barely 30, Claire believes she is showing the first symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, a condition from which her mother has recently died. Her sister, Nathalie, is certain that her ... See full summary »
Bernard Le Coq
A series of 41 documentary shorts, directed (without credit) by several famous French filmmakers and each running between two and four minutes. Each "tract" espouses a leftist political ... See full summary »
Seven lonely lives in Paris: a middle-aged estate agent who thinks a colleague is sending messages in video tapes she loans him; his co-worker whose Bible is close at hand in times of stress; her late-night charge, who's an angry, nasty bedridden old man; his son, a patient bartender; the bartender's best patron, an ex-soldier who's lost his moorings while his fiancée looks for a large flat for them; and, the estate agent's much younger sister, who answers ads in the personal and waits in cafés with a red flower pinned on her jacket. Will any connect? Can open hearts trump fears? Written by
There is a Scarborough poster in Thierry's home. The English seaside resort of Scarborough is the home of the play's author, Sir Alan Ayckbourn. See more »
When Charlotte has the tomato soup thrown at her by Arthur, the front of her blouse and sweater have large reddish stains on them. When Lionel returns home and is talking to her, the stains have disappeared. See more »
A good mix of art house appeal and mainstream entertainment
Adapted from Alan Ayckbourn's recent (2004) play, this movie has a structure that reminds me of two well known plays. The structure of some 50 short scenes brings to mind Noel Coward's "Cavalcade". Having plots revolving around 6 characters draws an obvious comparison to Luigi Pirandello's "Six characters in search of an author". But both similarities are superficial. "Private fears" is a distinctly different play.
The interrelationship between the six characters is somewhat random, but clever for this very randomness. These various relationships include real estate agent and client, office co-workers, brother/sister, part-time aged-parent-sitter and employer, engaged couple living together, bartender and familiar client, blind dates. Each character is party to two or three of these relationships. Some of these relationships we see right from the beginning; others evolve right before our eyes. Outwardly casual relationships have subtle intimacy; apparently intimate relationships turn out to be rather casual. The emotional spectrum goes from heart-breaking poignancy to hilarious farce. There is never a dull moment in this movie, (except to those who have a tendency to fall asleep UNLESS there is a car chase, an explosion or steaming sex).
"Private fears" also offers a good mix of art house appeal and mainstream entertainment. Artsy scenes, not overused, enrich the film throughout: entire scene shot from overhead, montage transformation of a conversation at a kitchen table to the snowy outdoors - just two most conspicuous examples. Nor does the movie shy away from cliché comic situations when then are called for.
This portrayal of ultimate loneliness in the urban alienation of the City of Lights is brought to the audience by an excellent cast of mostly director Alain Resnais' veterans.
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