SUCH A PRETTY LITTLE BEACH
UNE SI JOLIE PETITE PLAGE
1949, Pathe, 91 min, France/Netherlands, Dir: Yves Allégret

In endless rain on France’s Breton coast, Gérard Philipe gives his most unforgettable performance as a man on the run in Yves Allegret’s UNE SI JOLIE PETITE PLAGE. It’s surely one of the bleakest - and wettest - noirs of all time, with an unforgettable cast of cynical and compromised characters, with Madeleine Robinson as the only ray of light in Philipe’s desperate attempt to escape his plight.


FEVER RISES AT EL PAO
LA FIEVRE MONTE A EL PAO
1959, Janus Films, 97 min, France/Mexico, Dir: Luis Buñuel

In Luis Buñuel’s incendiary LA FIEVRE MONTE A EL PAO, Gérard Philipe plays an idealistic reformer who becomes embroiled in complex political intrigue when a repressive dictator is assassinated. Among the supporting cast are many of Mexico’s most celebrated and distinguished actors (Roberto Cañedo, Andres Soler, Victor Junco, Domingo Soler), topped by the legendary Maria Felix as the conniving widow of the fallen dictator. Legendary cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa captures both the heat and the stark angles of an island paradise thrust into a seemingly endless inferno.


L'ECLISSE
ECLIPSE
1962, Janus Films, 126 min, Italy/France, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

The concluding chapter of Michelangelo Antonioni’s informal trilogy on contemporary malaise (following L'AVVENTURA and LA NOTTE) tells the story of a young woman (Monica Vitti) who leaves one lover (Francisco Rabal) and drifts into a relationship with another (Alain Delon). Using the architecture of Rome as a backdrop for the doomed affair, Antonioni achieves the apotheosis of his style in this return to the theme that preoccupied him the most: the difficulty of connection in an alienating modern world.


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