Anne Goupil is a literature student in Paris in 1957. Her elder brother, Pierre, takes her to a friend's party where the guests include Philip Kaufman, an expatriate American escaping ...
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During the rehearsals for the production of the tragedy Andromaque, the leading actress and her director, a couple behind the scenes, can't find a way to leave their personal problems at ... See full summary »
Anne Goupil is a literature student in Paris in 1957. Her elder brother, Pierre, takes her to a friend's party where the guests include Philip Kaufman, an expatriate American escaping McCarthyism, and Gerard Lenz, a theatre director who arrives with the mysterious woman Terry. The talk at the party is about the apparent suicide of their friend Juan, a Spanish activist who had recently broken up with Terry. Philip warns Anne that the forces that killed Juan will soon do the same to Gerard. Gerard is trying to rehearse Shakespeare's "Pericles", although he has no financial backing. Anne takes a part in the play to help Gerard, and to try to discover why Juan died.Written by
As an inside joke, in "The 400 Blows", the film Antoine and his parents go to see is "Paris Belongs to Us", which wouldn't be released for another two years. See more »
[reading aloud from Shakespeare's The Tempest]
Full fathom five thy father lies / Of his bones are coral made / Those are pearls that were his eyes / Nothing of him that doth fade / But doth suffer a sea-change / Into something rich and strange
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This is an unusual film. It revolves around a group of characters that are slightly connected to each other through their artistic tendencies and/or political beliefs. The group is presented well - it is quite realistic, even though it is so colourful. This is perhaps because the criteria for being part of the group are so 'normal'. Friends, people with similar interests.. acquaintance networks - this is something that is presented very well in the film.
A sinister undercurent pervades the whole movie: a background plot that is never revealed, or shown directly - it is something that the characters speak to each other about and make reference to. While in other movies the conspiracy plot would have been the central theme, here it is pushed into the background, delegated to a simple object of discussion - the movie instead revolves around the lives of the characters and in particular, the protagonist's, from whose point of view the situation is seen. By bringing the focus onto the characters and their daily lives, illusions and aspirations, the movie manages to to breathe fresh life into what would have otherwise been just another conspiracy film.
A few technical things: The acting is not very consistent. The parisian scenes were very good and the photography was aesthetically pleasing. The music enhanced the atmosphere significantly, though some of its psychedelic overtowns were a bit overpowering at points (making the dialogue hard to follow - if the intention was to transfer the confusion/paranoia to the viewer, it was appropriate, however).
It's not a masterpiece, but it is definitely interesting and worth watching at least once.
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