Banned on its original release as 'too demoralising', and only made available again in its original form in 1956, Renoir's comedy is based on the phrase 'everyone has their reasons'. Centreing on a lavish country house party given by the Marquis de la Chesnaye and his wife, the film effects slides from melodrama into farce, from realism into fantasy, and from comedy into tragedy.
Les Enfants du Paradis
In Marcel Carné’s rich, literary romance from 1945 ('France's answer to "Gone with the Wind'!"), four men tussle for the affections of one woman.
Dita Parlo plays Juliette, the smalltown girl married off to Jean (Jean Dasté, captain of L’Atalante, a grubby barge plying the waterways of rural France. Once on board, Juliette is caught between her uncertain love for Jean and her desire to see a world beyond the restrictive confines of the boat. The situation is complicated by the constant interruptions of Jean’s beloved but irascible first mate, salty sea-dog Pére Jules (Michel Simon).
La Belle et la Bête
This ‘Beauty and the Beast’, a self-conscious but never precious attempt to revisit childhood fantasies and half-remembered dreams. The Beast’s castle, ringed with thorns and filled with grasping hands – is a place of terror, wonder and mourning, the perfect reflection of its tragic, noble occupant. The tug of love between the monster and the maiden is never overplayed, but neither does the film shackle this beast – he remains unpredictable and…