THE SLEEPING CAR MURDER
COMPARTIMENT TUEURS
1965, French Institute, 90 min, France, Dir: Costa-Gavras

A virtually lost and forgotten jewel in the crown of French crime films, Costa-Gavras’ (Z, MISSING) suspenseful debut feature is a genuine classic. Six people share a sleeping compartment on a Paris-bound train. After they arrive, one of them is found strangled, and before long, the killer starts knocking off the remaining passengers. Yves Montand is superb as a harried police inspector coming down with the flu, who doggedly follows up every lead. Red herrings abound and the twists and thrills are masterfully executed. Enormously influential on not just other French crime films that followed but the Italian giallo thriller genre as well. With a dream cast that includes Michel Piccoli, Simone Signoret, Jacques Perrin, Catherine Allegret and Jean-Louis Trintignant.


THE TASTE OF BLUEBERRIES
LE GOÛT DES MYRTILLES
2014, 90 min, Belgium, Dir: Thomas De Thier

In the second feature from writer-director Thomas De Their, elderly couple Michel and Jeanne (Michel Piccoli and Natasha Parry) take to the road for their summer picnic, an annual ritual to remember their son Philippe, who died decades earlier. After arriving at the forest, they lose their car keys, and as the two wander through the woods they encounter a lifetime of memories, dreams and fears. A touching and poetic drama that mirrors the human experience with the wonders of nature. In French with English subtitles.


THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY
LE FANTÔME DE LA LIBERTÉ
1974, Rialto Pictures, 104 min, France/Italy, Dir: Luis Buñuel

Surreal even by Buñuel standards, this loosely connected series of Monty Pythonesque sketches thumbs its nose at the conventions of storytelling as well as those of bourgeois society. Buñuel and co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière dream up dirty pictures of French architecture, poker-playing monks, celebrity snipers, fox-hunting tanks and more, setting the table for a banquet of free-wheeling satire. In French with English subtitles.


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