At Alliance Française on Fridays at 8 pm
At Alliance Française on Friday, August 7: Indochine / Indochina (1992) by Régis Wargnier – 160 mins – France, Drama/ Romance. English subtitles. Generally favorable reviews: 63 out of 100. This is the uncut version. 1993 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
With Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Perez, Jean Yanne, Linh Dan Pham.
Indochina during the 30's. One of the largest rubber-tree plantations is owned by the French colonist Eliane, a proud but imprudent woman. She lives with her father and her native adoptive daughter Camille. At an auction Eliane gets to know the young officer Jean-Baptiste; after a short affair she refuses to see him again. But in the meantime Camille falls deeply in love with the young man, so Eliane takes the necessary steps to cause a transposition of Jean-Baptiste onto a far island. Though Camille gets married to another man, she goes on a long journey throughout the country in order to find the one she loves…
– Alliance description
Rotten Tomatoes Synopsis: Romantic melodrama set during French colonial rule in Vietnam from 1930-1954. French national Eliane thinks of Vietnam as home: she owns a rubber plantation there, and has adopted Camille, the Vietnamese child of Eliane's deceased friends. But mother and daughter are soon at odds over both romance and politics: Camille has fallen for French naval officer Jean-Baptiste, who was once Eliane's lover, and has also become a revolutionary determined to destroy the French-run government. Tensions deepen when authorities sentence Camille to a French labor camp, and Eliane takes charge of Jean-Baptiste and Camille's baby. As time passes, it becomes clear that France's reign in Vietnam will soon end -- leaving mother, daughter, and grandchild on different sides of the ideological issue...
DVD available from Amazon.com.
At Alliance Française on Friday, August 14: Pépé le Moko (1937) by Julien Duvivier – 94 mins – France,Crime/ Drama/ Romance. English subtitles. B&W. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 86 out of 100.
With Jean Gabin, Mireille Balin, Gabriel Gabrio, Marcel Dalio, Fernand Charpin, Line Noro.
“Pépé le Moko”, a famous gangster chased by the police of Algiers hides in the Kasbah… One night, after a fight between his men and the police, Pépé, slightly injured takes refuge in a house where he meets a young woman, Gasy…
– Alliance description
A notorious gangster hides out in the Casbah for safety and soon realizes he's a prisoner, unable to ever leave its confines. He becomes obsessed with a beautiful outsider, and this attachment ultimately leads to his doom. Based on D'Ashelbe's novel and remade in America as "Algiers."
San Diego Metropolitan: It's not just an important film; it's also great entertainment, a compelling screen romance -- and one of the best places to see hunky Jean Gabin at the height of his career.
Terence Clarke: Gabin simply fills the role of Pépé le Moko, an intrepid thief who has had to leave his beloved Paris under trying circumstances, and is now hiding from the French police in the complicated, turbulent warren of The Casbah in Algiers. He is the personification of Ernest Hemingway’s famous definition of courage, that it is “grace under pressure”. He also has a very humorous glint in his eye, especially when he’s engaged in slang badinage with his pals or with the police inspector Slimane who, although Pépé’s pursuer, also thinks of him as a friend, a man to be respected. Pépé is as well a great lover. One of the Arab men in the quarter says of him that the day Pépé le Moko dies, there will be five thousand widows in The Casbah.
At Alliance Française on Friday, August 21: Le dernier métro / The Last Metro (1980) by François Truffaut – 131 mins – France, Drama/ Romance. English subtitles. Generally favorable reviews: 74 out of 100.
With Gérard Dépardieu, Catherine Deneuve, Jean Poiret, Heinz Bennent.
Lucas, a German-Jewish refugee, wants people to believe he went into exile leaving the management of the famous “Théâtre de Montmartre” to his wife, Marion. Actually, he is hiding in the basement. Daxiat, a theatre critic and a pro-nazi journalist, suspects something…
– Alliance description
Rotten Tomatoes: FrançoisTruffaut, whose "Day for Night" explored the world of filmmaking, turns to the stage in this story of a small theater company during the German occupation of France. Marion Steiner, the theater's owner, is desperately trying to keep both the troupe and Lucas, her Jewish husband, alive. To do this, she's staging a new play, which must be successful if she is to maintain the theater. Not only is this an artistic imperative -- the building also serves as a refuge for Lucas, who's hiding from the Nazis. But just as the actors begin their rehearsals, an anti-semitic journalist ensconces himself in the theater, creating an atmosphere of fear and insecurity. Will he discover Lucas's hideaway... or the truth about the political affiliations of the group's lead actor?