THE MOUSE THAT ROARED
1959, Sony Repertory, 83 min, UK, Dir: Jack Arnold

“The Hilarious Story of How the Duchy of Grand Fenwick Waged War on the U.S. - and Won!” Jack Arnold (THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON) may have seemed a strange choice to helm this satirical comedy about a tiny nation going to war with America to lose, then reap massive foreign aid, but he succeeds beautifully. Peter Sellers riotously pulls off one of his first stabs at multiple roles, portraying Grand Duchess Gloriana, Minister Count Rupert Mountjoy and Tully Bascombe. Costarring Jean Seberg, Leo McKern and David Kossoff. “…nicely done and often hilarious.” – Don Druker, The Chicago Reader.


BREATHLESS
À BOUT DE SOUFFLE
1960, Rialto Pictures, 90 min, France, Dir: Jean-Luc Godard

Lip-stroking pug Jean-Paul Belmondo is on the run, shooting cops and stealing cars - and cash from the handbag of Herald Tribune-hawking girlfriend Jean Seberg - with the couple engaging in boudoir philosophy, staring contests, sous-blanket tussles and plenty of smoking. The start of Godard’s decade of supreme hipness and seemingly compulsive, often outrageous innovation.


BONJOUR TRISTESSE
1958, Sony Repertory, 94 min, USA, Dir: Otto Preminger

In Otto Preminger’s haunting film (adapted by Arthur Laurents from Francoise Sagan’s novel), the underrated Jean Seberg plays a precociously spoiled teen whose wealthy reprobate father (David Niven) decides to settle down by marrying repressed Deborah Kerr, with catastrophic results. Exquisitely filmed (by Georges Perinal) in CinemaScope and shifting between black-and-white and deeply saturated color, Preminger’s film sensitively manifests the mysteries of growing up. When Seberg’s character finally makes the difficult transition from teenager to adult, it is with a tragic resonance that gives poignant meaning to the film’s title (which translates, "Good Day, Sadness").


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