Thursday, July 31, 2008

Alliance Française schedule

Alliance Schedule Aug 1 & 8

At Alliance Française on Fridays at 8 pm

Friday, August 1: Adorable Menteuse / Adorable Liar (1961) by Michel Deville – 105 mins – France, Comedy. English subtitles. B&W.

With Marina Vlady, Michel Lonsdale, Macha Meril, Jean-Marc Bory.

Marina Vlady plays the role of an 18-year-old chatter-box who just can’t help lying. She lies to her sister, Sophie, to Sophie’s fiancé Martin, and to all the men she attracts with her womanly charms. But when she falls for an older man, a 40-year old lawyer, her reputation as a liar precedes her and she cannot convince him that she really does love him…

This light romantic comedy has the allure and feel of New Wave cinema but is actually pretty inconsequential besides the works Truffaut and Godard.

The film alternates between youthful exuberance, passionate romance and dark film policier without being convincing or satisfying in either mode. Still, Marina Vlady is delightful as the compulsive liar who gets hoist by her own mendacious petard and the film makes a valid statement about the nature of human relationships, albeit in a tortuous and muddled way.

© James Travers 2000

Friday, August 8: Ce soir ou jamais / Tonight or Never (1961) by Michel Deville – 103 mins – France, Comedy. English subtitles. B&W.

With Claude Rich, Anna Karina, Georges Descrières, Guy Bedos, Françoise Dorléac.

Laurent has to prepare a musical show. That evening, he calls together his collaborators in his apartment under the roofs of Paris who will become the witnesses of his quarrels with his girlfriend. A sophisticated banter in the style of Marivaux or "marivaudage" in the Paris of the early 60s.

It’s an early film by Michel Deville, about a group of young friends (mostly couples), their relationships, their crises. The movie culminates in a long party where games are played and feelings explode. The film is "Nouvelle Vague" at its best. Anna Karina gives a performance greatly admired by some: “She smiles, she dances, she's ecstatic, she's sad, she cries and has nervous breakdowns - all in one. She's a wonderful actress and human being and it's very interesting seeing Anna Karina in a film not directed by Godard.”