Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Les disparus de St Agil (1938)

In a boy's school called St. Agil, Baume, Macroix and Sorgue forms a club. Their goal is to go to America together. They meet at night, when every body else has gone to bed, in the science room, with Martin the skeleton as the president. Sorgue is writing a book and one night when his two friends has left, he stays behind to write a couple of more lines, and sees a man suddenly appears from the wall. He tries to tell everyone, but they don't believe him. (As a writer, he has a strong imagination.) When Mr. Walter, the English teacher, reads HG Wells' The Invisible Man for dictation, Sorgue tries desperately to mention this again, is laughed at by his classmates, and the teacher tells him to leave the class and report to the headmaster. Sorgue never returns. Baume and Macroix have a reason to believe Sorgue has left for America without them when they receive a postcard from him. However, Macroix later also disappears and Mr. Lemel, the drawing teacher, who often gets drunk, dies by falling over the balustrade after claiming that he has something in common with King Philip The Fair.

I like watching the boys from the time before WW2, they are so independent. In the trio, Baume is the leader, and later in the movie he becomes the detective and solves the mysteries, which involves counterfeit money. The movie is full of interesting characters. The teachers, for example, apart from Mr. Lemel, there is Mr. Walter, who worries if he scares the boys or not, and Mr. Planet, who suffers insomnia. There is also Mr. Mazeau, the concierge, who believes the disappearance of both boys connects with the fact that they ask him lettuce. The lettuce, in fact, is for their friend's turtle. My favourite scene is perhaps the music lesson scene, where later Macroix is told to leave and report to the headmaster. If I have any critique, it would be why Baume asks Mr. Walter to join their club. Although Walter does lighten Baume about the postcard from Sorgue, which is not sent from America, and stays with him in the science room to proof Sorgue's story, I still get the impression that Baume doesn't like Walter that much. Perhaps I should read the book.

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