At Alliance Française on Fridays at 8 pm
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.”
Friday, August 15: La Trahison / The Betrayal (2006) by Philippe Faucon – 80 mins – France/Belgium, Drama. English subtitles.
With Vincent Martinez, Cyril Troley, Ahmed Berrhama.
Algeria, 1960. War has been raging for six years and it will take two more years before Algeria – in French hands since 1830 – gains independence following a referendum decided by General De Gaulle. Lieutenant Roque, a Frenchman, is in command of an isolated post of thirty soldiers in the south-eastern region of Algeria. All the men have been drafted; among them are four young Muslims – French of North African origin as was said back then. Caporal Taïeb acts an interpreter for Roque. The post’s mission is to assure the security and control of a neighboring village and its environs, and the displaced, unemployed men and women, teenagers, and children living there. Everyone is tired of this interminable war and eager to lead normal lives again. Roque sometimes manages to gain people’s trust, even if many are no doubt secretly partisans of the FLN (National Liberation Front) and Algerian independence. Neither war nor peace will stop Roque from seeing his mission through. Then, all of a sudden, everything goes awry.