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.


CONFIDENTIALLY YOURS
VIVEMENT DIMANCHE!
1983, Janus Films, 110 min, Dir: François Truffaut

In François Truffaut’s delightfully entertaining tribute to Hitchcock, a businessman (Jean-Louis Trintingnant) is wrongly accused of murder, and while he goes on the lam his secretary (Fanny Ardant) tries to find the real killer. Gorgeous black-and-white photography by Nestor Almendros and a witty screenplay (by Truffaut and frequent collaborators Suzanne Schiffman and Jean Aurel, adapting hardboiled American writer Charles Williams’ The Long Saturday Night) make this one of the director’s most enjoyable efforts.


RED (1994)
TROIS COULEURS: ROUGE
1994, Janus Films, 98 min, France, Poland, Switzerland, Dir: Krzysztof Kieślowski

In the trilogy’s final installment, Swiss model Valentine (played by Irène Jacob, from THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE) meets an embittered former judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who spies on his neighbors, and crosses paths with an intriguing young law student (Jean-Pierre Lorit). In a wonderful piece of cosmic stage-managing, Kieślowski brings together the main characters from all the THREE COLORS stories during a storm-tossed ferry ride. In French with English subtitles.


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