Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Garde A Vue

Inspector Gallien is investigating the rape and murder of two little girls. The only suspect is attorney Jerome Martinaud, but the evidence against him is circumstantial. As the city celebrates New Year's Eve, Gallien calls Martinaud to his office and interrogates him for hour after hour while Martinaud continues to maintain his innocence. We learn all about the evidence; we meet Martinaud's wife and learn all about the rift between the two; but will we, and Gallien, finally learn whether Martinaud is guilty?

I had been waiting to get this 1981 stunning drama by French director Claude Miller (1942-2012, RIP label), for some time, finally it is available again. It is mainly a double act between tough detective Lino Ventura who is questioning a suspect Michel Serrault, on a rainy New Years Eve. Romy Schneider also appears, for about 15 minutes, as the suspect's estranged wife. It is her second last role and she certainly makes an impression here. We follow the twists and turns of the investigation. Serrault is terrific as the slippery suspect .... the wife too thinks she has evidence .... what does our detective and his crew make of it? The ending is certainly a surprise!

This is a very topical subject now - child murders have been in the news here a lot lately. This is niftly slow burn movie, coming in about 80 minutes. and well worth seeking out. The two main leads are brilliant here - Serrault in particular will be a revelation for those who only know him from the CAGE AUX FOLLES films.

Miller directed that 1976 THE BEST WAY TO WALK (gay interest label), and THIS SWEET SICKNESS with Depardieu in 1978 from the Highsmith story - nice, well crafted movies. His last, a new THERESE DESQUEYROUX with Audreu Tatou, played in London only recently. I also have Miller's 1983 MORTELLE RANDONEE (which never played here) to watch, with Serrault again and the intriguing combination of Adjani, Audran, Genevieve Page and Macha Meril. Looking forward to that ...
Romy & Ventura, GARDE A VUE
Romy of course is a long-time favourite of mine (since I saw those SISSI films as a kid). I have actually about 12 of hers still to see now, from that prolific career of 60 or so titles - I must have over half of them. We liked those Claude Sautets we saw a while ago (LES CHOSES DE LA VIE, CESAR & ROSALIE and MAX AND THE JUNKMEN). She did 4 with Trintignant which I have lined up to see: LE COMBAT  DANS L'ILE, THE LAST TRAIN, LE MOUTON ENRAGE and THE LADY BANKER, then there's THE INFERNAL TRIO, LOVE IN THE RAIN, THE LADY AT HER WINDOW; her first with Delon CHRISTINE in 1958, AN ANGEL ON EARTH in '59 where she is an air hostess, which also features the young Belmondo, FANTASIA D'AMORE with Marcello, also 1981, which I have only in Italian, and her last LE PASSANTE DE SANS SOUCI. 1982, and now there's 2  more available: MADO, another Sautet, and LA CALIFFA. I must try and see several a week to do a full report. Others are as per reviews at Romy label.

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