At Alliance Française on Fridays at 8 pm
At Alliance Française on Friday, March 20: Pierrot le fou / Pierrot Goes Wild / Crazy Pete (1965) by Jean-Luc Godard – 110 mins – France/ Italy, Crime/ Drama. English subtitles. Generally favorable reviews: 73 out of 100.
With Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, Dirk Sanders, Graziella Galvani, Raymond Devos.
Ferdinand meets an old love, Marianne. But at her place, they fall upon a cumbersome corpse. They then decide to flee the killers through France to an island where they might be safe… One of Jean-Paul Belmondo’s best roles in this “Nouvelle Vague” film.
– Alliance description
Pierrot (Jean-Paul Belmondo) escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run.
TV Guide: Pierrot le fou was Godard's tenth film in six years (not including four sketches that he contributed to compilation films) and perhaps the first to contain all the elements that have been called "Godardian." He combined everything that came before--the romanticism of Breathless, the inner monologue externalized in Le Petit soldat, the structural division of My Life to Live, and the epic odyssey of Contempt--with the linguistic diary format that would overpower some of his later films.
Working from the outline provided by Lionel White's novel Obsession, Godard was able to proceed without a script and create what he called "a completely spontaneous film." Spontaneous or not, Pierrot le fou is arguably one of the few Godard pictures to have the desired balance of romance, adventure, violence, and humor on one side, and philosophy, literary and cinematic allusion, and Brechtian distancing on the other.
The film was lensed quickly in May, June, and July 1965 and then edited even more rapidly for a showing at the Venice Film Festival at the end of August.
At Alliance Française on Friday, March 27: 13 m² / 13m2 (2007) by Barthélémy Grossmann – 84 mins – France Crime/ Drama/ Thriller. Black and white. English subtitles. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 82 out of 100.
With Barthélémy Grossmann, Youssef Hajdi, Thierry Lhermitte, Lucien Jean-Baptiste.
Jose is looking for a way out of his small time banlieue deals. When he overhears a conversation between his girlfriend and his step-brother, he might just have found a very lucrative way. Together with his two best friends, he decides to attack an armored vehicle, full of cash. But everything goes wrong and they're forced into hiding, in a 13 square meters bunker. There, they will have to test their friend-ship, their motivations, as every move outside triggers even more paranoia...
– Alliance description
A first-time directing effort by actor Barthélémy Grossmann, who also wrote the script. After the hold-up of an armored lorry, José, Farouk, and Réza take refuge in a hideout measuring 13m². Shut away with the money and a tarnished conscience, the relationships and personalities of the three friends are revealed with the passing lies and conflicts that this oppressive situation triggers. Each excursion into the real world from now on presents a threat. Will they manage to overcome their fate and make a fresh start?
At Alliance Française on Friday, April 3: L'Atalante / Le Chaland qui passe (1934) by Jean Vigo – 88 mins – France, Drama/ Romance. Black and white. No English subtitles. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 87 out of 100.
With Michel Simon, Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté.
When Juliette marries Jean, she comes to live on his ship, on board of which are, besides the two of them, only a cabin boy and the strange old second mate Père Jules. Soon bored by life on the river, she slips off to see the nightlife when they come to Paris. Angered by this, Jean sets off, leaving Juliette behind. Overcome by grief and longing for his wife, Jean falls into a depression and Père Jules goes and tries to find Juliette…
– Alliance description
Rotten Tomatoes Synopsis: Considered by critics to be one of the 20th century's best films, L'Atalante is the final work of French director Jean Vigo's (Zero For Conduct) tragically brief, but brilliant career. After their wedding, Juliette (Dita Parlo) and Jean (Jean Daste) set out on L'Atalante, the river barge that Jean captains. In a scene representative of the film's lovely, poetic cinematography, Juliette, both desiring and fearing her new life, wistfully walks atop the length of the barge, wedding dress fluttering in the wind. The couple soon settles into wedded bliss, with the companionship of quirky, tattooed bargeman Pere Jules. He provides many of the film's unexpected comedic moments (watch for the plethora of cats, and the cigarette smoking belly button). Trouble arises, however, as Jean continually foils Juliette's attempts to learn more of life by listening to the radio and exploring the barge's ports. When a charming traveling salesman/entertainer (Gilles Margaritis) entices Juliette with stories of the charm of Paris, she decides to venture out on her own. The question of whether Jean and Julliette's love will win out over their conflicting ideas, along with the naturalistic, dreamlike visual world that Vigo creates, will keep viewers enraptured to the end.