OCCUPATION ERA QUARTET PART 1: ALBERT VALENTIN
12:00 PM MidCentury Productions is honored to present the American premieres of two works from another notable filmmaker: Albert Valentin, who—like Louis Valray—has slipped through the cracks of cinema history. His first film is a challenging exercise in “backward time”: scandal-mongering novelist Loïc Limousin (noted character actor Jules Berry) continues to stalk and exploit Marie-Martine (Renée St. Cyr), a “woman with a past” trying to put it all behind her. We see her story unfold in a complex and highly unusual way, always wondering whether she will somehow avoid further suffering at the hands of the despicable Limousin. (1943, Albert Valentin, 103 min)
Life of Pleasure
/ La vie de plaisir
2:00 PM More flashback virtuosity from Valentin (with the eminent Charles Spaak providing the sharp-edged dialogue) is on display in this tale of a divorce proceeding that lays bare all of the hypocrisy and deceit of the French upper classes, as they try to hold their societal position even in the midst of the Occupation. Featuring an especially dynamic performance from Albert Préjean, La vie de plaisir was shunned and banned after the war and is still shockingly unknown nearly eighty years after it was made. MCP is proud to bring it to America for the very first time… (1944, Albert Valentin, 85 min)
Thanks to the slow-but-sure rediscovery of “cinema de papa” films in France from the 1930s and 1940s, THE OTHER SIDE OF “THE LOST CONTINENT” 2023 gathers an astonishing range of titles previously forgotten in their homeland and virtually unseen in America. Those who’ve journeyed with us through the hidden landscapes of French noir in Midcentury Productions‘ The French Had a Name for It programs will be similarly enchanted by the 18 films we have in store for you beginning April 1st.
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