THE STRANGE MR. STEVE
L’ETRANGE MONSIEUR STEVE
1957, Gaumont, 90 min, France, Dir: Raymond Bailly

Ever wonder what Jeanne Moreau was up to before she took over the Paris night in ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS? It turns out she was in more than a dozen French noirs, including L’ETRANGE MONSIEUR STEVE - where the action is both criminal and amorous. As the moll of a clever gangster (played by singer Armand Mestral), Moreau seduces a milquetoast bank teller (Philippe Lemaire) only to inexplicably fall in love with him - which, as they say in France, makes things très compliqué! Also on hand to create added menace is Lino Ventura as Mestral’s hulking right-hand man. MONSIEUR STEVE benefits from a witty script by Frédèric Dard, master of the San Antonio series and often called “the Raymond Chandler of France.”


ONE DAY YOU’LL UNDERSTAND
PLUS TARD
2008, Kino Lorber, 90 min, France/Germany/Israel, Dir: Amos Gitaï

In 1987, as the trial of Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie unfolds on television, French businessman Victor Bastien (Hippolyte Girardot) finds a distressing “Aryan declaration” authored by his late father among family documents. His mother, Rivka (the legendary Jeanne Moreau), keeps a stubborn silence. As Victor becomes more obsessed with past secrets, he takes his family to the tiny village where Rivka’s parents were forced to hide during the war. A poignant and ultimately optimistic portrait of a family’s confrontation with the wounds of the past and their hopes for a better future.


LA NOTTE
THE NIGHT
1961, Rialto Pictures, 122 min, United States , Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

The middle film in director Michelangelo Antonioni’s acclaimed early-1960s trilogy of alienation puts an upper-class marriage under the microscope as it disintegrates. After successful author Marcello Mastroianni and his wife (Jeanne Moreau) visit a hospital to see a dying friend, they go to a party where each meets a flirtatious guest (Giorgio Negro and Monica Vitti) and is forced to confront the emptiness of their relationship. A Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear winner (and one of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite films).


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