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Suppose lost and found objects could talk... But they can! At least four of them... : -A statuette of Osiris remembers how two ex-lovers, a model and a good for nothing who claimed to be an Egyptologist, met again one Christmas Eve. -A violin has things to say about Raoul, a humble policeman who lost Solange, a widowed grocer he loved, to a god-dam seducing busker also named Raoul. -A scarf was witness to an eerie romance between a young madman and girl he had saved from suicide. -A funeral wreath lets us know how it caused a young woman to believe her lover dead. After having told their respective story, the objects return to their customary stillness.Written by
This is a fine film made up of sketches made by Christian-Jacques .Although it cannot hold a candle to Duvivier -who would outdo himself two years later with "sous le ciel de Paris" "souvenirs perdus " is a nice souvenir from the underrated "cinema de qualité" which was France 's forte in the fifties.
The connection between the sketches is thin -that makes the difference with Duvivier - and has its source in a lost and found department in Paris.The movie camera wanders the length and breadth of the warehouse and sometimes stops on one objects.Then begins the story in connection with it.There are four segments.
Segment one:Edwige Feuillère,Pierre Brasseur.Two former lovers meet again in le Louvre in the Egyptian department.She pretends she's now a wealthy woman (but we soon discover the jewels are not hers;she was wearing them as she poses for photographs).He tells her he's an archaeologist (actually he sells pornographic pictures to the American tourists ).It's Xmas's eve and they spend the night together.Not very original,saved by the two leads.
Segment two:Suzy Delair,François Perier.A playboy is to attend his less-than-beloved old uncle's funeral.But a former lover comes back to see him and of course ,she does not interest him anymore.So he tells his butler to make her believe it's his own funeral.Very funny scenes follow.In the graveyard the lady weeps over the uncle's grave which sets the tongues swagging.Besides the dialog is witty:the cousin(about the dead) :"he takes all our regrets with him ";the playboy : "so he does not leave us any".
Segment three:Gérard Philippe,Danielle Delorme.A mini film noir.A young man has been confined to a mental hospital .He escapes from it and kills his relatives who had him locked up in order to latch on to his inheritance.He meets a young girl who's about to commit suicide.she takes him to her apartment.This segment has a very different atmosphere.Gerard Philippe is haunted,his over-the -top performance is really scary.Christian-Jacques' directing,generally restrained,becomes disquieting here ;he wonderfully creates destabilization:sloping shots increase the audience's uneasiness,and high and low angle hots are used to stunning results.Philippe's character might have influenced Duvivier for his serial killer in "sous le ciel de Paris".
Segment four:Yves Montand ,Bernard Blier.After the farce of segment two and the despair of the third,this final sketch is a bit as an anticlimax.Two men are in love with a widow whose son plays -you will need earplugs-the violin.In order to help the wizz kid (and to conquer his mother) a gendarme asks an itinerant singer (Montand) to give private lessons to the brat.It's not hard to guess what happens next. At the beginning,in jail,Montand sings "les feuilles mortes" (Jacques Prévert) ,the celebrated song which was featured in one of his first movies Marcel Carné's "les portes de la nuit".
"Souvenirs perdus" deserves better than a lost-and-found movies department.
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