Daniel Toscan Du Plantier

Daniel Toscan Du Plantier

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À Nos Amours Review


Very Good
Maurice Pialat produced a comparably light and relatively unknown body of work as a director. If he's remembered for anything, it will certainly be this film, À Nos Amours, in which a 15-year-old undergoes sexual awakening amid her boring and sometimes hateful life as a teen.

Played by real-life 15-year-old Sandrine Bonnaire, À Nos Amours is every bit as explicit as you might fear. I've been told, as a father with a young daughter, that the film Thirteen would scare the pants off of me. Thirteen is Kool-Aid compared to this. À Nos Amours is a punch in the stomach after a fifth of whiskey, a horrorshow of sexuality where it simply shouldn't be.

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L'Argent Review


Good
The 1993 film Twenty Bucks tracked a $20 bill through the hands of a variety of travelers and a series of small adventures.

Robert Bresson's final film, L'Argent, follows a similar path, at least for a while. Only this time the bill is French, counterfeit, and destined to bring nothing good to those who encounter it.

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Fanny And Alexander Review


Extraordinary
It's much more about young Alexander than his little sister Fanny, and although it's best remembered as Ingmar Bergman's last film (it wasn't, technically, seeing as he's still alive and making movies today), might it also be his warmest film as well? Developed, like Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage, for Swedish television, and released in a shortened theatrical version later, 1982's Fanny and Alexander is a rich and surprisingly peaceful coda to one of film's most illustrious careers.

When I say "peaceful" I don't necessarily mean "reconciled." In Fanny and Alexander Bergman sums up the themes of a body of work in which the director often brought audiences to the edge of the abyss and invited them to contemplate the void; and here, using a child as his stand-in, Bergman illustrates very clearly how it is that this void found its genesis and why it can never quite be filled. The difference is that the dilemma of existence in Fanny and Alexander is shown through a child's eyes (Bergman seldom used children elsewhere) and it's suffused with the magic of childhood curiosity and discovery. The child, like Bergman, will grow to be an artist; the director says that tragedies like those that befall Alexander are a necessary part of that.

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Tosca Review


Excellent
When Guy Maddin decided to make a film of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet production of Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary, he decided to "smash the proscenium arch" and represent the movement using an expressionistic cinematic style. That's a welcome change from the stodgy, unimaginatively-taped performances that have cluttered up public television for decades. Benoit Jacquot finds his own way of tapping into that near-radical filmic approach, using Giacomo Puccini's opera Tosca as source material. His movie rediscovers the voluptuous, emotive, wine-dark splendor of opera as a rich audio-visual experience. In responding to the heat and passion of Tosca, Jacquot does something sublime: he not only shakes up the pretensions of opera as class warfare snobbery ("I go to the opera because I can afford the tickets, see my friends, and have a splendid dinner afterwards.") -- he also reminds us that the music video, abandoned in recent years by MTV's dumbed-down programming, doesn't necessarily have to be confined to the 3 to 5 minutes allotted to the flavor of the month.

With a running time of two hours, Tosca might feel a little small and slight for opera lovers. The melodramatic plot is easy to follow, a bodice-ripping tragedy about doomed painter Mario Cavaradossi (Roberto Alagna) shielding a political prisoner from a relentless police investigator, Scarpia (Ruggero Raimondi). When Mario's jealous mistress Tosca (Angela Gheorghiu) starts to believe Mario has been keeping the company of another woman, the blonde Mary Magdeline he's been painting for their church, she turns him in. But Scarpia demands more from her, making arrangements to spare Mario's life if in return Tosca sleeps with him. This results in a series of violent betrayals, murders, and tearful confessions.

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The Chambermaid On The Titanic Review


OK
Listen up! A guy named Horty (Martinez) wins a race of endurance and strength in his industrial zone in France. His prize: Go to Britain to witness the sailing of the Titanic (not to be on the Titanic, mind you). In his hotel, a woman (Sánchez-Gijón) saying she's a chambermaid on the boat asks to share his room. She leaves in the middle of the night.

Horty becomes fascinated with the woman and invents a romance between them, telling this story to everyone back home, including his girlfriend Zoe (the uniquely UNappealing Bohringer). The stories get so wild as to include champagne being poured all over the chambermaid!

Continue reading: The Chambermaid On The Titanic Review

Daniel Toscan Du Plantier

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