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That film is a masterpiece. It's dark, dirty, and it will leave you drained. Rumour has it that its star, Patrick Dewaere, while having delivered a performance for the ages, never quite forgot his character Frank Poupart, and was depressed enough over it that he blew his brains out at age 35.
An off-beat film with a great atmosphere and a fantastic lead performance in Franck, a loser salesman is struggling to pay his bills. He seems fed up with his wife, a lady he never seem to treat very well. We follow him in his job, but mostly his daily life, whining about money and his way of dealing with his hard life.
Then he meets Mona - a lovely 17 year old that is a forced prostitute, living locked up at her grandmothers place. She seem too like Franck - he is gentle too her, he does not want her services - he wants her to have a better life, and most importantly he want her, even if he knows she's way too young. When the opportunity to get hands on big money he decides to go for it, even if it means solid crime. It will give him some opportunities with Mona as well, so there is a small hope that he can escape the life he lives. Naturally things happen and the film gradually develops into a great mess.
This is film is not well-known, but it deserves props for standing out as something different. The fantastic lead is astonishing in his role. Patrick Dewaere was a man that suffered off camera too, that gave him some helpfull touches as an actor I guess. He never blew up as an actor, and he sadly commited suicide at the age of 35.
Marie Trintignant, the lady that plays the less talkable "Mona" is also carrying a dark story. With a natural, feminine look - delicate with a recklessness in her expression she was popular, but still suffered psychically. She tended to date wild guys and she was actually killed after a fight with her boyfriend in 2003, only 41 years old.
So, this film brings tragical stories off set too, but even if its not brilliantly shot or noteworthy well-produced or filled with good effects it stands as a very good film with amazing build up and a terrific ending. I'm glad I saw it.
8.5 out of 10 sets of stairs.
Yksinkertainen juoni lepÃ¤Ã¤ tÃ¤ysin Patrick Dewaeren huikean roolityÃ¶n harteilla. Hitaan aloituksen jÃ¤lkeen kÃ¤teen jÃ¤Ã¤ lopulta yksi kaikkein aikojen mieleenpainuvimmista ranskalaisista noireista ja yksi osuvimmista Thompson-tulkinnoista. Loppu on silkkaa kultaa, vaikkei ihan alkuteoksen viiltÃ¤vyyteen pystykÃ¤Ã¤n.
What an awesome French neo-noir. The acting is great. I haven't read this Thompson novel, but it definitely captures his spirit and gives it a French tweak (better than COUP DE TORCHON, which is still a good movie). Plus, it was cool to see the one-armed man from the 1993 version of THE FUGITIVE speaking French!
Mes hommages Madame, Franck Poupard !
Like with so many other movies these days, I felt âSÃ©rie noireâ made me realize Iâve grown up. Some ten years ago, I would have found such bizarre productions amusing, yet odd and unrealistic. Now Iâm not so sure. Strange as the events portrayed may be, they can be like real life depending on the circumstances. And similarly, the main characterâs behaviour is less odd than it may seem. âSÃ©rie noireâ also reminded me of Ken Loachâs work: grim everyday reality, with the expected tear, but with a (sardonic) laugh as well. It paints a pretty sad picture of the right hellhole life can turn into and the terrible things people do to hurt the feelings of others. And despite all that, we come to the scary conclusion that we are amused. Add the usual French subtleties and some other stereotypical elements ((funny) fits of anger, pompously ridiculous superiors turning their subordinates into (amusing) schlemiel characters by condescending behaviour towards them) to that and youâve got a great piece of entertainment. There is more emphasis on atmospherics and characterization than on a speedy plot in âSÃ©rie noireâ, though it must be said the plot is rock-solid as well, full of unexpected yet believable twists towards the end. I can safely say I never realized Dewaere was such a magnificent actor. Needless to say, Marie Trintignant is great as well â amazing achievement for such a young actress. I loved the accurate depiction of âla vie quotidienneâ in the suburbs of Paris (âbanlieuesâ), messy houses (obviously containing destitute, unhappy inhabitants) and drab offices. All this grimness and sadness is compensated in an ironic way by the use of cheerful music on the radio and Dewaereâs put-on salesmanâs act. Another plus: funny clownish acting (physical fights, etc.) and side characters (Hellâs Angels and imbeciles like Tikides â priceless!). The film focuses on just a few characters, which makes it all the more clear-cut and to-the-point. This is obviously a product from the glory days of French cinema.
One of the better Jim Thompson adaptations, but may be disappointing for fans of the book. The characterizations are very strong and well acted, especially Dewaere in the lead.
He's neurotic and conflicted, a point which is driven home interestingly by the repeated use of popular music on the radio when he is in scenes of anxiety or despair. His awkwardness with women, and self-delusion are captured well by the contrast between the pop chanson lyrics and his manic-depressive state.
What this doesn't seem to convey, for me at least, was the increasingly bi-polar psyche of this character. But he does break down in a way unique to the film and with cinematic impact. Thankfully, the schism in his interior dialogue is at least not done with voiceover.
Like Coup de torchon, this changes some elements to reflect a different but equally specific and noir setting. The trappings are different, but the key themes and characterizations are largely intact. Well worth seeing, and criminally not more widely available.
LACMA Bing Theatre- 052909 Wow this was a rare treat,, I saw this long ago disturbingly beautiful really a classic I want to see all of Dawaere Films.. OMG the director of Prepare Vous Mouchoires played his boss on the filmm intense
maybe I remember wrong, but Im pretty sure Kubricks version of Lolita blows. I dont know whos idea it was for him to make it, but its a pretty bad matchup with director and material. Most his stuff has that mausoleum air to it, which makes sense for movies about robots, ghosts, the imminent apocalypse, the aristocracy, you know, dead things or things that are about to die. But his stuffy detachment doesnt really work for a movie about a pedophile. (And neither does the Red Shoe Diaries soft-focus treatment, but lets not even bring up Adrian Lyne.) Anyway, this movie gets it right. Its moody, weird and batshit, as something should be about a child fucker. Also, I think it might be the best Jim Thompson adaptation, and that includes The Grifters and the movie with Rachel Wards tits and the Billy Zane movie with Sheryl Lees tits.
oh ce film de psychopate! beaucoup trop long! mais de bons moments parfois.