Le Plaisir (France, 1952)

This is an extraordinary film stylistically with a devastating finale. A portmanteau film of three Maupassant short stories. Two very short frame a nearly hour long sojourn in the country by prostitutes. The rather rose-tinted representation of the professions jars slightly but the cinematography and performances are great (Jean Gabin’s drunken walk is funny).

Ophuls is renown for his tracking shots and he constantly shoots from outside buildings, the camera follows the protagonists as they move about inside. The mise en scene is amazingly cluttered by we can always see what’s happening (however the distance did annoy me eventually).

Ophuls was a great director and so this must be seen. (DVD, 4) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045034/


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