Friday, April 15, 2016

Gueule d'amour

1937, France, directed by Jean Grémillon

No great surprise that I liked this a lot: Gabin, Grémillon, 1930s. To my great surprise, though, I discovered afterwards that it was filmed in Germany, like Grémillon's later L'Etrange Monsieur Victor, though in 1937 this was a good deal less unpopular in terms of audience perceptions. The extent to which this telegraphs the postwar Gabin persona is quite fascinating -- he manages to occupy both the handsome young buck and embittered older man within a single, quite brief film. The film taps into that vein of poetic tragedy that so marked the French 1930s, though the finale is more brutal than I expected, perhaps again foreshadowing what was to come in the postwar years.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States