Thursday, October 1, 2009

Catherine Deneuve 5-Film Collection

I bought this because of Le choc, which is only available (the version with English subtitles) in this boxset. The 'box' is made of plastic, which imo looks better than the Alain Delon 5-Film Collection's box. Like the title suggests, there are 5 films in it:

1. Manon 70 (1968)
This movie is actually not bad, especially when they had the handsome Samy Frey, who I think could be James Bond if Roger Moore was not available at that time; unfortunately only several months ago I watched Henri-Georges Clouzot's Manon, which had many gorgeous, unforgettable scenes. One cannot help to compare both movies as they are both based on the same source. In this newer version, moral degradation is clearly depicted. One basic point is that a brother sells his own sister. Another example is the scene when Jean-Paul (Manon's brother) persuades Simon's wife to talk to Manon so that Manon leaves François and returns to Simon, so that Simon's wife can keep her lover; because if Simon loses Manon, he will ask his wife to leave her lover as well. Love is not enough for Manon, who loves anything glitters, but is it enough for François? He borrows so much money from his boss. And in the end, in the hitchhiking scene, we see that they only want expensive car.

2. Le choc (1982)
This one is quite entertaining and I like the nice soundtrack by Philippe Sarde. It is said that during the shooting Catherine Deneuve had differences with director Robin Davis, so Alain Delon directed the rest of the project. The plot is similar to Tony Arzenta: Delon plays a hired killer who wants to quit, but the boss won't let him. Martin Terrier a.k.a. Christian (Delon) hides in his turkey farm, which is run by Claire (Deneuve) and her husband Félix. A group of commando arrives and kills Félix, but Martin & Claire can escape to Paris, where they are caught again by Martin's boss who wants Martin to do another job for him. I don't know exactly what is the meaning of the title as there is nothing so shocking in this film. The turkey farm scene is lovely, though, especially when Delon & Deneuve are trying to catch the turkeys. And I like the water-gun joke.

3. Le sauvage (1975)
I enjoyed this great drama-comedy very much. Deneuve plays Nelly the savage in a very wild way, that I felt so sorry to Yves Montand's Martin. On their wedding night, Nelly leaves her husband Vittorio and goes into a hotel where Martin helps her to escape from Vittorio who is after her. She follows Martin to his private island, without his knowing at first, and as he tries to get rid of her, she becomes a pest in his life. Slowly Martin accustoms to her (like My Fair Lady, imo), but it is too late as Vittorio comes to take her home. I think this is the best among the 5 movies in this collection.

4. Hôtel des Amériques (1981)
When TV5 showed this months ago, I left asleep. Now as I have the DVD, I tried to watch this again until the end. I still think this movie is very slow and boring. Deneuve plays Hélène, a doctor who falls in love with Gilles (Patrick Dewaere), son of an inn-owner whose best friend Bernard, a failed artist, is one of their tenants. Gilles always doubts Hélènes love for him and that in his imagination she cannot forget her late boyfriend who left her a big house. This one has a sad-ending, but Gilles is left hoping, and so are we.

5. Fort Saganne (1984)
Gérard Depardieu plays Charles Saganne, who is sent to Sahara desert, away from Madeleine (played by a very young Sophie Marceau) who loves him, by the recommendation of her father. Charles becomes a legend, a great war hero, and yes, he marries Madeleine anyway. His reputation, however, proves not enough to handle the cruelty of WW1. Deneuve has a little role here as Charles's lover when he returns to France on a diplomatic duty. The movie is beautiful, but slow. What I like best is the friendship between Charles and Amajar, one of the Arab leaders.

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