LET THE SUNSHINE IN
UN BEAU SOLEIL INTÉRIEUR
2017, IFC Films/Sundance Selects, 94 min, France/Belgium, Dir: Claire Denis

Shedding the blood and guts but none of the stinging bite of her previous work on male-female relationships, Claire Denis’ LET THE SUNSHINE IN is a surprisingly caustic romantic comedy about a woman’s search for true love. Taking a narrative stab at French philosopher Roland Barthes’ 1977 book, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments, Denis and screenwriter-novelist Christine Angot examine a woman’s troubled love life as she finds little success beyond carnal gratification. Juliette Binoche plays the frustrated Isabelle, in one of her most riveting performances. “A simple story of enormous complexity. A romantic comedy and drama in which the questioning of those very categories is a part of the action ... a peculiarly insightful glimpse into the emotional fluidity within the formal boundaries of French culture.” - Richard Brody – The New Yorker.


MISSISSIPPI MERMAID
LA SIRÈNE DU MISSISSIPI
1969, The Film Desk, 123 min, France/Italy, Dir: François Truffaut

One of Francois Truffaut’s least-known films stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as a wealthy industrialist living on a remote island in the Indian Ocean who summons a mail-order bride and gets the lovely, double-crossing Catherine Deneuve. When she empties his bank account and disappears, Belmondo follows her back to Europe and straight into a whirlpool of murder and deceit. Based on the Cornell Woolrich novel Waltz Into Darkness, the film is dedicated to Truffaut’s idol, Jean Renoir. “This visually elegant yet frankly emotional romance is about why the best reply to ‘I love you’ might finally be ‘I believe you,’ as it is here." – Janet Maslin, The New York Times.


WAR AND PEACE
VOYNA I MIR
1967, Janus Films, 421 min, Soviet Union, Dir: Sergey Bondarchuk

At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet film industry set out to prove it could outdo Hollywood with a production that would dazzle the world: a titanic, awe-inspiring adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic tome in which the fates of three souls - the blundering, good-hearted Pierre; the heroically tragic Prince Andrei; and the radiant, tempestuous Natasha - collide amid the tumult of the Napoleonic Wars. Employing a cast of thousands and an array of innovative camera techniques, Bondarchuk conjures a sweeping vision of grand balls that glitter with rococo beauty and breathtaking battles that overwhelm with their expressionistic power. As a statement of Soviet cinema’s might, WAR AND PEACE succeeded wildly, garnering the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film and setting a new standard for epic moviemaking. "You are never, ever, going to see anything to equal it ... as spectacular as a movie can possibly be." - Roger Ebert.


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