Wednesday, January 24, 2018


1945, France, directed by Jacques Becker

Despite the very different settings, Falbalas shares a great deal in common with Becker's previous film, Goupi Mains Rouges -- the confident sketching in of a very specific time and place, the mastery over multiple characters (with even the most minor among them having a sense of being people rather than plot devices), and the confidence in managing transitions of tone, though the blacker satire of the earlier film is absent here. One of the most fascinating aspects of the picture is Becker's insistent focus on the behind-the-scenes corps of women who transform the designer's work into actual garments -- it lends the film a striking political note, as well as a warmth that surely owes at least something to his work with Jean Renoir (perhaps not always to Renoir's benefit -- Becker was, after all, one of the behind-the-scenes personnel subjugated to the Renoir legend).

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States