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Archive for February 17th, 2012

by Allan Fish

(France 1931 47m) DVD2 (France only, no English subs)

Ou est l’Hebrides

p  Pierre Braunberger, Roger Richébe  d  Jean Renoir  w  Jean Renoir, Pierre Prévert  play  Georges Feydeau  ph  Theodor Sparkuhl  ed  Jean Mamy  m  Paul Misraki  art  Gabriel Scognamillo

Marguerite Pierry (Julie Fallavoine), Jacques Louvigny (Bastien Follavoine), Michel Simon (M.Chouilloux), Olga Valéry (Mme.Chouilloux), Nicole Fernandez (Rose), Fernandel (Truchet), Sacha Tarride (Toto),

It’s not a film that you will find many Jean Renoir experts enthusing about, an early talkie piece of filmed theatre based on a one act play by master farceur Georges Feydeau.  The glories of La Chienne, La Nuit de Carrefour and Boudu were just around the corner, so it’s perhaps understandable Bébé gets lost in the melee, but it deserves to be rediscovered. 

            Bastien Follavoine has a stressful life.  His porcelain manufacturing business is struggling and in need of a government contract to equip the army with toilet equipment.  He invites the War Ministry bigwig Chouilloux to his house to discuss the matter and to demonstrate the effectiveness of his ‘unbreakable’ chamber pots.  But as he’s preparing, his seven year old son Toto asks him where the Hebrides Islands are.  As such we first meet him scouring the Zs (for Zebrides) in look for the islands, only to find that they’re not there.  He calls for the maid’s help.  “Do you know where the Zebrides are?”, he asks her.  “No, madame must have put them somewhere”, she replies.  He tries to explain that they’re not an object in the house but the name of a group of islands, but then has to explain what an island is.  Still the maid is confused; “I haven’t seen them.  I haven’t been in Paris long.”  Exasperated he sends the maid to fetch his wife.  (more…)

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