“PALACE OF FUN”— Brother, Sister and Drifter

“Palace of Fun”

Brother, Sister and Drifter

Amos Lassen

Three young people on the cusp of adulthood navigate the complexities of love, sex and secrecy with disastrous consequences. Lily (Phoebe Naughton) and Finn (Andrew Mullen) meet one drunken night in a club and begin a perfect summer romance until they meet Lily’s younger brother Jamie (George Stocks). This is an intimate look into the strains of familial bonds and awakened romance, as we see the extremes that young people go to in order to keep up appearances and maintain their identity.

Jamie boasts the self-superiority and arrogance that comes with privilege. As secrets are revealed, you can’t help but become compliant in the debauched actions of these three dubious characters, and invested in their goodness. We are taken into a world of questionable morals and strong intentions.

Lilly invited Finn to spend a week at her parents’ opulent Sussex house until they return from their trip to Italy. However, the situation changes when Jamie discovers a revealing secret about Finn, Jamie decides to use it to play a dangerous and sinister game instead of sharing it with his sister. During a search for Finn on Facebook, Jamie learns that Finn stole some kid’s bag and bribes him into increasingly ‘uncomfortable’ acts that border on rape if he wants to get his bag back.

All three central characters have ranging levels of interest— it’s hard to ignore the intrigue Jamie’s character offers from the offset and George Stock plays him with creativity and talent. When Lily and Finn’s relationship begins become mundane, Jamie steps in and takes over to a degree. This is a film with intrigue, betrayal, mystery and secrets.

Director Eadword Stocks, along with co-writer, brother and star George Stocks have created a poetic, quiet and melancholy film that powerfully portrays how normal life often exists alongside intrigues and secrets such as these. “Palace of Fun” begins to lose steam as it moves toward the end and while that hurts it, it is still fascinating to watch.

“DEVIL’S DOMAIN”— The New Social Networking

“Devil’s Domain”

The New Social Networking

Amos Lassen

“Devil’s Domain is a movie about the ramifications of social media, cyber-bullying, and how it affects the youth of today,” says writer/director Jared Cohn. It is centered on a cyber-bullying incident that goes terribly wrong at a fictional high school. The victim then seeks her own unique form of revenge (with some super-natural help along the way). 

 Lisa is bullied into bulimia, self-hate, self-harm and depression. She wants acceptance, fame and revenge and makes a deal with the devil—a sexy, female devil with a foreign accent. From there, Lisa with the Devil begin a series of revenge acts on those who humiliated her. I love the idea of a retelling on the Faust story in a modern setting and this was a great idea that was somehow lost in the execution of it causing some scenes to elicit laughs from the viewers. I found it to be reminiscent of 80’s horror movies.

Lisa (Madi Vodane) and Rhonda (Brenna Tucker) have been best friends since grammar school, but now that they’re in their later teens, Lisa develops sexual feelings for Rhonda, and when she tries to make out with her, Rhonda just dashes off and … the next day the whole school she blabs it all over school. Lisa then becomes the target of bullying. This eventually leads to bulimia which leads to more problems when another “best friend” of hers (Zack Kozlow) installs cameras in her bedroom and bathroom to film her not only eating and forcing herself to throw up but also masturbating. And when the video’s on the internet the next day, Lisa of course ends up the laughing stock of the whole school. This, of course, leads to Lisa having more suicidal thoughts than ever, and she causes her parents (Michael Madsen, Kelly Erin Decker) to worry so that they want to send her away for treatment.

While at her lowest point, Lisa meets Destiny (Linda Bella) over social media, who gives her compliments and promises her to take care of everything for her. Destiny invites her over invites and has sex with her and then reveals herself to be the Devil. What she promises Lisa doesn’t sound at all bad— both fame and revenge on those who have bullied her and this is all Lisa wanted anyway. What Destiny did not mention was that the revenge part of things has to do with all of her opponents being killed violently and gorily or, driven to suicide the same way Lisa has almost had been driven to suicide. At first, Lisa even likes the game, even if it makes her slightly sick – but when she sees Rhonda being run over by a truck before her very eyes and knows she could have prevented it. Even though Lisa changes her attitude. she’s already in too deep by then.

 While “Devil’s Domain” has many flaws, it also has a lot going for it including a fun story build-up and a good balance of characterization and story. The horror sequences are all effectively staged and tremendously executed. The script is full of realistic dialogue and motivations and the cinematography is atmospheric and striking.

Michael Madsen is especially good as Lisa’s compassionate and understanding stepfather, Bill. The music from Iggy & The Stooges, DMX and Onyx, adds to the tone and I had a great time watching it. Yes, it is disjointed and at times incoherent, beginning as a high school drama before moving into horror. There is an emphasis on sex but no nudity.

“SIXTH HAPPINESS”— An Autobiographical Film

“Sixth Happiness”

An Autobiographical Film

Amos Lassen

Set in Bombay in the 1960’s and 70’s, “Sixth Happiness” is the story of Brit, named by his sister for the brittle bones that characterize the ailment he was born with: osteogenesis imperfecta. It is based on Firdaus Kanga’s (who plays Brit Kotwal)

autobiographical novel, “Trying to Glow”. It is about how Brit comes to terms with himself and how he impacts his family. We also see how the Indian Parsees (who are descended from the Persians of a millennium ago) maintain their customs and enjoyed a special status under the British.

Brit’s story is told with both humor and pain as we are with him through his broken legs as a child to his education and his sexual awakening and self-acceptance through relationships with a lodger, Cyrus (Ahsen Bhatti), and Cyrus’s girlfriend, Amy (Indira Varma).

Brit’s journey is also the story of his relationship with his parents — Sera (Souad Faress), his Anglophile mother, who loves him without reservation from the moment of his birth, and Sam (Khodus Wadia), his handsome father, a bank manager who can never really come to terms with his deformed son. There are colorful and vivid secondary characters, including Brit’s bright, funny sister, Dolly Kotwal (Nina Wadia), who amuses him with photos of nudes and adores him.

Brit is no angel. He can be manipulative and selfish as well as perceptive and funny. It is these qualities that make him human and very much worth knowing. The film opens with Brit talking directly to camera, (a this is repeated throughout and that never hides the truth as he sees it). He has no bitterness towards his past experiences and exhibits a fierce wit and intelligence. Throughout the film this is patronized by those around him, but each is met by a suitably sarcastic reply.

Instead of focusing on Brit’s obvious difficulties and setbacks, we see his struggle to find both his own identity and his sexuality. Kanga gives a wonderful performance, made all the more compelling by Kanga’s professional approach, considering this is his first acting role.

The film follows a few twists and turns while Brit tries to come to terms with what he is and we feel pleasure and honor to be able to experience it with him.

“After Anatevka: A Novel Inspired by “Fiddler on the Roof” by Alexanda Silber— Hodel and Perchik

Silber, Alexandra . “After Anatevka: A Novel Inspired by “Fiddler on the Roof””, Pegasus, 2017.

Hodel and Perchik

Amos Lassen

When the great American musical ends, we are left wondering how the characters fare after the curtain drops or the screen goes black. For the two hours before that Tevye and his family have become part of us and this is one of the beautiful aspects of the story. Alexandra Silber knows the story well; she played Tzeitel in the recent revival of “Fiddler” on Broadway and in “After Anatevka”, she tells us what happened after Hodel left the stage. The last we saw or heard about her she was with her father at the train station preparing to board the train that would take her to join Perchik, her fiancé, in Siberia.

Before I actually began reading this, I wondered if I really wanted to know what happened later. Like so many others, “Fiddler” was a personal experience for me and to be left wondering what happened later kept the story alive in my mind since I could have it end the way I wanted. However, curiosity got the best of me.

Writer Silber opens her story with prologue during which Perchik proposes to Hodel and she accepts. We then join her in Siberia where Hodel is in prison. We are with her as she deals with many trials and meets many people, never losing her personal strength and courage. Her story is reminiscent of the great Russian historical novels as she gives us her re-imaging of “the rest of the story. Great literature this is not yet it is a fun and quick read.

This is a beautiful love story and we do not have to know the original in order to enjoy it. If you do, however, it s that much better. While this is basically Hodel’s story, we also read about how it was for Hodel to live with her father and four sisters in flashbacks. By doing this, we see the severity of life in Siberia and compared to life in the sthetl. Having been a member of a close family, Hodel then has to dear with the loneliness that is Siberia.

Hodel was the second eldest daughter of Tevye and Golda and she did not have an easy time dealing with everything that was against her and Perchik and there were not all political problems. As we read here there were also personal problems to be faced. Therefore this is more than a love story; it is a coming-of-age tale as well. It is a story that is both epic and intimate and like the original, we laugh and we cry as we read.

 

“Moving Kings: A Novel” by Joshua Cohen— Faith, Race, Class and Home

Cohen, Joshua. “Moving Kings: A Novel”, Random House, 2017.

Faith, Race, Class and Home

Amos Lassen

One of the loud voices of his generation, Joshua Cohen proves himself to also be one of the boldest voices with his new novel “Moving Kings” in which he brings together the housing crisis in this country in poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods with the conflict, in the Middle East.

Set in 2015, we meet twenty-one-year-olds Yoav and Uri, veterans of the last Gaza War who have just completed their compulsory military service in the Israel Defense Forces. In keeping with national tradition, they take a year off for rest, recovery, and travel. They decide to come to New York City and begin working for Yoav’s distant cousin, David King who is a proud American patriot, Republican, and Jew, and owner of King’s Moving Inc., one of the big companies in the tri-state area’s moving and storage industries. David is so also newly divorced. Yoav and Uri have been away from civilian life in Israel and now they must face becoming part of American civilian life. However, as one who served in the Israel Defense Forces during wartime, I can tell you that this is a difficult task. It is never easy moving past having been told what to do in an army situation and the young men find it especially difficult to spend their days evicting people in slum homes knowing this is all they can afford. Not only do they put people out, they take their possessions as payment for what they owe. What begins as a profitable job that is eerily familiar soon becomes something that resembles the occupation and reaches violence with one homeowner who is out for revenge.

Author Cohen contrasts Israeli veterans with America veterans and this is quite a harsh contrast. We see divergent cultures as well and Cohen goes a step further by bringing biblical metaphors as well. I realized this the moment I saw the name of the character, David King. Yet the real focus is on

the two ex-IDF infantrymen, Yoav and Uri. I doubt that Yoav being the Israeli first cousin-once-removed of King expected to be evicting tenants and throwing their belongings to the street and I am that Uri likewise did not as well.

The story comes to us in three parts. In the first part we meet David King and learn of his business and his visits to Israel. We learn that he is awkward at political fundraisers but has been able to connect to a Wasp real estate developer and the consequences for this, we see at the end of the book. We also pick up on his past shady business that he took care of while in Israel. David had first gone to visit Israel with his mother and father to meet a lost uncle. He also went to work on a kibbutz after college and then again later as a well-off businessman primarily to establish a tax shelter, ostensibly to visit his cousin Dina and her family (including the young Yoav). We see right away that David is the ugly American, playing the system and benefiting from the misfortune of others. As Cohen says, he is a capitalist.

The second part concentrates on Yoav and Uri and their experiences as Israeli soldiers and as civilian citizens of Israel dealing the aftermath of military service. Many first time soldiers take time, a year or so off after completing compulsory duty. Yoav comes to the states, and Uri will follow him later. Their work for David keeps them busy and often reminds them of one of the duties they had to deal with while soldiers involving the degradation of home invasion as required by the IDF. The young men have a difficult time living the civilian lifestyle and are more comfortable in the role of soldier even Brooklyn and the Bronx.

In part three, we meet Avery Luter, a Vietnam veteran, convert to Islam, toll collector. Luter is a metaphor for America’s failure and he becomes something of a catalyst to remind us of some shameful American history for which we are still feeling the consequences and for which society is still dealing with and there seems to be no end in sight.

My problem with the novel is personal as I grew up in an American Jewish family with a David King from which I eventually ran away, moved to Israel, joined the army and came back many years later. Since I personally experienced so much of what I read here, there were times when I could decide if I wanted to laugh or cry or do both at the same time. Because of that this was a difficult read for me yet I must say that I marvel at the prose and the vocabulary and I love the anger and the playfulness of Joshua Cohen’s voice. Sometimes we have to read about ourselves to understand our lives more clearly. While, in essence, this is a story about what ties hold a family together, we see that those ties are not as secure as we might think. I read that one reviewer has said that this is the troubled story of a troubled life and I am not sure that I agree with that. This is surely the story of a life but I believe it depends upon the reader to decide if it is a troubled life. Rather I see this as a novel about home and what that means. How does not feel to take away homes from those that need them and how is it possible to live a moral life after that? How does one life in the absence of the home and is an army base a substitute for home.

Cohen deals with some very big issues including the meaning of being Jewish, an issue I deal with everyday because I feel so lucky to be Jewish yet without understanding all of the intricacies of the religion. I cannot help but wonder how a non-Jewish reader will understand what is here.

I have not covered everything here nor can I and I probably do not want to do so because I want everyone to experience the book. Most noticeably is that I have not said anything about David’s affiliation with the Republican Party. I also have not touched the idea that there is a theme here about proving how we exist. And these are just for starters. Cohen, in effect, asks us if it is possible to live a good Jewish life if there is nothing to fight for. What we see is that we are in a constant state of movement and it is easier for me to quote this than to try to say it differently—“moving from army service to civilian life, moving from childhood to maturity, moving through those ever-present states of internal and external combat, striving to move forward when the world is turning backwards”.

The real beauty here is that if I read this book again, I might just throw this entire review away and start over concentrating on other aspects of the novel. That is truly what great literature is.

 

 

“I, OLGA HEPNAROVA”— Ten Years

“I, Olga Hepnarová” (“Já, Olga Hepnarová”)

Ten Years

Amos Lassen

Olga Hepnarová (Michalina Olszanska) was raised in Prague and she was timid by nature and a troubled child with no friends. She was frequently bullied by her classmates. Her family environment was strict making her feel alone and unable to cope with life’s issues. Gradually she alienated herself making it unable to fit in, and she felt rage toward the indifference of a society that in the tragic end, left her destroyed by its members. Eventually, Olga was rejected by everyone and marginalized and so she plotted against society in silence with the intention for revenge against her family and the world.

In the film we are with Olga over a period of ten years, form her suicide attempt at 13 until her execution at age 23 in 1975. Writer-directors Tomás Weinreb and Petr Kazda follow Olga’s maturation and show her sense of powerlessness gradually drove her to mass murder. We see her become more obstinate as we gaze at her expressionless face. The film explores Olga’s alienation from society and her evolving homosexuality simultaneously. These themes are pointedly irreconcilable, and both seem to stem from her traumatic experiences of abuse and bullying as a child. After she’s briefly admitted to a psychiatric hospital as a teenager, Olga leaves her childhood home to live in an isolated hut and taking on a series of manual jobs. Olga’s fluid work status, her efforts to achieve consistent medical help, and her ephemeral sexual relationships are how we are to judge the evolution of time.

Supporting characters come and go, but many seem interchangeable as we see Olga’s alienation in a narrative that is rigorously fractured and often taken out of context. Weinreb and Kazda had a difficult job here— they give us a character that might deserve our understanding, if not much of our sympathy. Hey, therefore, decided to use a way that seems objective but necessarily incomplete. There are moments of passion and longing throughout Olga’s sentimental education, but her worldview is relentlessly grim and self-centered.

The film gives us the impression that Olga suffered from multiple personality disorder. While it is clear that she suffered, but it is also equally clear that she refused opportunities to engage in potential friendships. The filmmakers take few measures to bring about sympathy for Olga, but their take on her life precludes making any resonant statements about homosexuality, emotional health, or humankind’s capacity for evil.

Even though the camera draws ever closer to Olga, it seems far from securing an understanding as to how she arrived at her vengeful philosophy. The ending is violent with Olga deliberately running over a group of pedestrians with her truck, killing eight people.

To show Olga’s alienation, the film uses strict formalism: it is shot in black-and-white, in almost entirely static shots, with no musical score, frequently isolating Olga’s face or body in the frame. The film is a co-production of four countries: Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and France.

Olga Hepnarová ended her life by hanging, as the final victim of the Czechoslovakian death penalty. Without doubt, Hepnarová’s sexual orientation was one of the unspoken issues that drove a wedge between her and her family and co-workers. Nonetheless, we see in psychologically brutal detail how the bullying Hepnarová constantly faced short-circuited the development of her personality. As a result, she makes every painful social interaction even worse. She is not blameless for the dismal state of her life, but her family, particularly her domineering mother bear great responsibility.

Somehow, Olga manages to come out of the closet and pursue a romantic relationship with Jitka, but this is inevitably undermined by circumstances and her own self-sabotage.

Polish Michalina Olszanska transforms herself into the awkwardly boyish Hepnarová with twitchy, halting body language that makes her look as uncomfortable in her own skin as she is with her oppressive environment. Her performance that dominates and defines the film.

Kazda & Weinreb invite us to sympathize with Olga and we do to a degree even knowing that she was a mass murderer who killed eight and wounded another twelve. Nothing can really describe the pervasive hostility she endured and everyone is stuck in a swamp of “utter and abject hopelessness”.

The black-and-white cinematography emphasizes that unyielding drabness and it is amazing to see how the directors maintain such stifling claustrophobia and a sense of steadily mounting tragedy.

“MR. GAY SYRIA”— Trying to Reconcile Faith and Sexuality

 

“Mr. Gay Syria”

Trying to Reconcile Faith and Sexuality

Amos Lassen

“Mr. Gay Syria” is a special film in that it was made to support a direct campaign calling for a push to grant five Mr. Gay Syria contestants asylum. A petition from Change.org tells us that “Five Syrian refugees escaped the horrors of life as gay men in Syria only to find that their nightmares never ended. After years of living in hiding, fearing for their lives, and watching fellow LGBTQ+ people being mercilessly executed by ISIS, these men believed they had found freedom and safety in Istanbul. Feeling liberated and grateful for their newfound, yet conditional freedom of authentic self-expression, they decided to hold a Mr. Gay Syria contest and planned for the winner to participate in The Mr. Gay World competition. However, hate and homophobia still remain in Turkey”.

Mahmoud Hassino tells us that the film highlights the challenges experienced by LGBTQ+ people in the Middle East. Mr. Gay Syria is a regional competition to advance to Mr. Gay World. “Mr. Gay Syria” also a documentary, written and directed by Ayşe Toprak that highlights the five Mr. Gay Syria contestants and the challenges that they face including severe persecution and seemingly impossible barriers on those who are simply trying to be themselves “while living in antiquated and judgmental environments.” The hope is to help accelerate the asylum process for these men.

We see the conflicts inside a Muslim man who is trying to reconcile his sexuality with his faith, and how the traditions of his culture have pulled against him (and his family ties) since he was young.

Sign the Change.org petition.

 

“Mr. Gay Syria”

Trying to Reconcile Faith and Sexuality

Amos Lassen

“Mr. Gay Syria” is a special film in that it was made to support a direct campaign calling for a push to grant five Mr. Gay Syria contestants asylum. A petition from Change.org tells us that “Five Syrian refugees escaped the horrors of life as gay men in Syria only to find that their nightmares never ended. After years of living in hiding, fearing for their lives, and watching fellow LGBTQ+ people being mercilessly executed by ISIS, these men believed they had found freedom and safety in Istanbul. Feeling liberated and grateful for their newfound, yet conditional freedom of authentic self-expression, they decided to hold a Mr. Gay Syria contest and planned for the winner to participate in The Mr. Gay World competition. However, hate and homophobia still remain in Turkey”.

Mahmoud Hassino tells us that the film highlights the challenges experienced by LGBTQ+ people in the Middle East. Mr. Gay Syria is a regional competition to advance to Mr. Gay World. “Mr. Gay Syria” also a documentary, written and directed by Ayşe Toprak that highlights the five Mr. Gay Syria contestants and the challenges that they face including severe persecution and seemingly impossible barriers on those who are simply trying to be themselves “while living in antiquated and judgmental environments.” The hope is to help accelerate the asylum process for these men.

We see the conflicts inside a Muslim man who is trying to reconcile his sexuality with his faith, and how the traditions of his culture have pulled against him (and his family ties) since he was young.

Sign the Change.org petition.

“THE BIG KNIFE”— Trapped

“The Big Knife”

Trapped

Amos Lassen

“The Big Knife” is a melodramatic tragedy an expose of the studio system that kept actors under contract so that they could control the movies they make. Robert Aldrich directed this intelligent melodrama, that is based on a play by Clifford Odets. It was made by United Artists on a low budget and shot in 16 days and focuses on Art vs. Mammon (with the realization the film itself was being made in Hollywood). The movie stresses that the struggle is a personal one for survival and redemption rather than idealism and this allows disagreeable leading characters to exchange lines that only an insider like Odets could have written could pen. Jack Palance is Charlie Castle, a tormented artist who defies the clichés of his insulated and self-absorbed character. He expresses all his anguish and hurt in the star system that he willingly signed on for in order to gain the benefits of the rewards, and he shows the futility without realizing that he is he is acting or speaking for real. It was shocking when first released in 1955 but is now considered tame by modern standards.

Charlie is a Hollywood success story. The star movie actor, a former Broadway actor, is living in wealth in Bel-Air, a suburb of Hollywood. However, he has problems that relate to his work that he can’t cope with. To become a movie star he had to sell out his ideals, but his problem is that he can’t forget those dreams. His marriage to Marion (Ida Lupino) is shaky and they are currently separated. Marion swears she will divorce him for sure if he inks a new seven-year contract with the evil studio head Stanley Hoff (Rod Steiger), a fictional studio boss who is a mixture of real studio bosses Harry Cohn and Louis B. Mayer combined in one person. 

Marion resents that her husband has become a weak man succumbing to the pressures of inferior men who offer him material temptations, and that he has lost his way by becoming a womanizer and an alcoholic. When Charlie refuses to sign a new contract, Stanley and his disgusting assistant Smiley Coy (Wendell Corey) pay him a house call to blackmail him over a previous tragic car accident incident which if revealed could end his career. Charlie’s agent Nat (Everett Sloane) acts as a buffer between the big boys and Charlie, trying to cut a deal his client could live with. 

Finally, Charlie capitulates and signs. But things don’t end there because of actress Dixie Evans (Shelley Winters) who was in the car when the drunk Charlie ran over a child. Press agent Buddy Bliss took the blame for and received a 10-month jail sentence. Smiley earns his paycheck by scheming how to eliminate Dixie so the studio’s property would not be devalued and comes up with a plan involving Charlie getting Dixie drunk and then letting his hired boys push her in front of incoming traffic. This proves to be too much for Charlie, who decides he just wants to reconcile with Marion and his 7-year-old son Billy, and has grown tired of all those that inhabit his world. 

Hollywood had been making harmless behind-the-scenes exposé movies for ages, but none had the caustic appeal, or the career effect, as this did.

Aldrich was a respected and dynamic director who wasn’t always in control of his actors but he had never had a cast like this one and the movie almost ran away from him.

SPECIAL FEATURES include:

– Brand-new 2K restoration from original film elements produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition presentations

– Original English mono audio (uncompressed LPCM on the Blu-ray)

– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing

– Commentary by film critics Glenn Kenny and Nick Pinkerton, recorded exclusively for this release

Bass on Titles – Saul Bass, responsible for The Big Knife’s credit sequence, discusses some of his classic work in this self-directed documentary from 1972

– Theatrical trailer

– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Nathalie Morris

“THE LOVE OF A WOMAN”— Standing Up

“The Love of a Woman” (“L’amour d’une femme”)

Standing Up

Amos Lassen

Marie Prieur (Micheline Presle) is a young doctor who decides to settle down on Ushant, a remote island belonging to Brittany. It takes time but she is eventually accepted by the population. One day she meets André Lorenzi, (Massimo Girotti), a handsome engineer, and it is love at first sight. Life is wonderful for a while and André wants to marry her but only if she remains at home. Even with her strong feelings for André, Marie refuses to give up her vocation and the two lovers part.

Love of a Woman” is a beautiful film but it is quite sad. There are several depressing scenes and two funerals and even the scenes between lovers are painful. There is also a painful lack of communication between the lovers.

For Andre, a woman’s job is acceptable as long as she is without a man. However, when she gets married ,she is to become a housewife. The film is set in the fifties before woman’s lib and Marie who wants to reconcile her work and the love she feels for Andre. Marie’s job took the best of her, but it gave her independence, pride and self-assurance.

There’s a lovely scene when Marie has worked for hours through the night at the bedside of a sick girl who has finally, with the doctor’s help, begins to improve. Marie’s reward is great and this seals her acceptance at last into the community.

Marie has a problem to cope with in Andre Lorenzi with whom she falls in love but who as a macho Italian takes it for granted that once married Marie will be happy to give up work and devote herself to the chores of the housewife. There is a moment when Marie accepts this but changes her mind.

The film is rich in observation of human nature. There s a lot more here but I do not want to spoil the viewing experience so I will stop now.

Special Features include:

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition presentations of the feature, from materials supplied by Gaumont

– Original French mono audio (uncompressed LPCM on the Blu-ray)

– Optional English subtitles

In Search of Jean Grémillon, a feature-length documentary on the filmmaker from 1969, containing interviews with director René Clair, archivist Henri Langlois, actors Micheline Presle and Pierre Brasseur, and others

– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Ginette Vincendeau