Private Screening (1973) Poster

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dbdumonteil30 April 2008
This is François Leterrier's last interesting film after "les Mauvais Coups" and "Un Roi Sans Divertissement".This movie was a flop ,it was screened on TV two years after it was theatrically released,which was very rare in France of the seventies .It has a good cast:Jacques Weber(who was excellent in Boisset's "RAS" the precedent year),Françoise Fabian,Jane Birkin,Jean-Luc Bideau,and ,for those whose like "intellectual" "meaningful" "deep " acting,Rivette's darling Bulle Ogier.

A director wants to film a dark episode of his own life,when his then-wife died in a car crash.But his current wife is afraid that the story may repeat itself."The cinema is an imitation of life ,and life an imitation of the cinema " Leterrier dixit.
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Private screening.
ulicknormanowen6 June 2020
The movie in the movie and the movie in the making were no longer innovations in the seventies: André Cayatte and Jacques Prévert had done it long before ,in the classic "les amants de Verone "(1948) , the stars's stands in had lived the same tragic story as Romeo and Juliet ; in 1952, in "la fête à Henriette " , Julien Duvivier had allowed himself to explode the genre ,and with a lot a humor at that.

In the seventies ,this kind of movie became intellectual, self-conscious and boring: Soutter"s "repérages, Truffaut 's "la nuit américaine" ("day for night") and this movie belonged to that tradition .

"Projection privée " conceals the paucity of its ideas behind a screenplay which blends real scenes, filmed scenes and the characters' states of mind .The story is downright derivative : a director, Denis,walked out on his mistress Marthe and married a younger woman ,Camille.The deserted woman committed suicide.Undaunted , several years after the tragedy , the director decides to transfer the story to the screen; but Camille is afraid that the story might repeat herself .

The only convincing player in the whole movie is Françoise Fabian ;the others are wasted (Jane Birkin,Jacques Weber) , smug (Jean- Luc Bideau ) or indifferent (Bulle Ogier).There's a "I'll give you a ring and we'll meet up for a bite " flippant side ,between two conversations in which the characters contemplate their navels ; one never believes two of them experimented tragedy ,and if Camille feels remorse, it takes a lot of imagination to believe in her agonies of remorse when she sunbathes nonchalant by her private pool .Hence the preposterous scene in the hospital.
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