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Archive for February 8th, 2011

 

by Allan Fish

(France 1949 91m) DVD2 (France only, no English subs)

Aka. Such a Pretty Little Beach

Il Pluie

p  Emile Darbon  d  Yves Allégret  w  Jacques Sigurd  ph  Henri Alekan  ed  Léonide Azar  m  Maurice Thiriet  art  Maurice Colasson

Gérard Philipe (Pierre), Madeleine Robinson (Marthe), Jean Servais (Fred), Jane Marken (Mme.Mahieu), André Valmy (Georges), Paul Ville (Mons.Curlier), Julien Carette (the father), Gabriel Gobin (Arthur), Mona Dol (Mme.Curlier), Christian Ferry, Yves Martel, Gabrielle Fontan, Robert Le Fort,

There’s something somehow anachronistic about Allégret’s haunting character study, as if it’s been dispossessed in time.  From its opening sequence one could easily imagine ourselves back a decade before the war to the malaise and fatalism of poetic realism, to the extent that we find ourselves wondering why we didn’t see the names of Marcel Carné, Jacques Prévert and Jean Gabin on the credits.  Just as Le Quai des Brumes began with shots of the bright headlights of a lorry, Plage begins with the bright headlights of a minibus.  The question is whether one of the passengers is going somewhere or running from somewhere.

            Pierre is a grave looking youth who arrives suddenly in an almost deserted French seaside resort on the Normandy coast in the middle of winter.  On arrival his very demeanour lends the inhabitants to believe him to be suffering from some incurable illness, and he’s consequently come for the air.  He befriends a young but world-weary woman, Marthe, who acts as maid at the establishment, but draws suspicion from everyone else.  That is when they aren’t busy discussing the murder of a singer in Paris, the very mention of whom seems to drive young Pierre crazy.  (more…)

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