We've Been Trying To Get This For Years and Finally – A New 35mm Print!

Early in Jean-Jacques Beineix's directorial debut, Diva (1981), the character Gorodish (Richard Bohringer) is described as "going through his cool period." Much the same could be said of Beineix with this film -- a work that simply oozes cool, but in a very special way. Beineix had spent 10 years working as an assistant director when he made Diva, and he obviously knew this was his one big chance. As a result, he crafted the most attention-getting film possible -- and it worked. Suddenly, French movies were hip again. He dropped back to the foundations of the French New Wave -- both stylistically and in choice of material. The mystery thriller was a fundamental of the Cahiers du Cinema -- the French film magazine that helped give birth to the New Wave movement -- crowd. But he also made it his own, adding elements of fantastic romance and intellectualism. At bottom, it's a stylish thriller about a young man, Jules (Frederic Andrei), who makes a bootleg recording of a famous opera singer (Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez). The recording gets mixed up with one that incriminates a police official in racketeering and murder, setting the thriller plot in motion. However, the thriller aspect -- entertaining as it is -- is ultimately secondary to the characterizations and the film's all-pervasive style. It's a beautifully layered work that's much more than a showcase for Beineix's talent. (Ken Hanke)


Thu & Fri April 10 & 11, 2008, 7:00 & 9:30, Muenzinger Auditorium

France, in French, Color, France:117 min / USA:123 min, 1.66 : 1



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Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


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