THE OLD LADY WHO WALKED IN THE SEA (Laurent Heynemann, 1991)

Jeanne Moreau, who won a best actress César for her sprightly, scrappy work as San-Antonio’s nefarious Lady M, is the main attraction of Laurent Heynemann’s La vieille qui marchait dans la mer, a mildly entertaining comedy that revolves around routine versus change in this aging grifter’s life. Dominique Roulet, grandson of film composer Maurice Jobert, […]


Could it have been only a dozen years since he played schoolboy François Jaubert in Claude Autant-Lara’s Le diable au corps (1946), from Raymond Radiguet’s novel? Dying of liver cancer, Gérard Philipe was no longer the handsomest actor in the movies. In Les liaisons dengereuses, Roger Vadim’s jazz-infused update of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s late […]

QUERELLE (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982)

“[Georges Querelle] is in great danger of finding himself.” — Lysiane, brothel madam Exquisite, searing (despite a dirty mouth), Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s abstractly infernal Querelle is “about” Jean Genet’s 1953 novel Querelle de Brest rather than an adaptation of it. The English-language film, from West Germany and France, is dedicated to El Hedi ben Salem, […]


From Jérôme Clément’s 2005 autobiographical novel, Plus tard, tu comprendras, Israeli master filmmaker Amos Gitaï has made one of his most delicate, sensitive and dearly ironical works: Plus tard—literally, poignantly, Later. Written by Gitaï, Marie-Jose Sanselme and Dan Franck, the film opens in 1987 during the trial of Nazi criminal Klaus Barbie; its radio coverage […]

MODERATO CANTABILE (Peter Brook, 1960)

“I would live in a city, without trees or wind.” — Anne Desbarèdes Alain Robbe-Grillet had launched the nouveau roman in France, and Marguerite Düras became part of that movement with her 1958 Moderato cantabile—her literary rebirth, since her previous fiction was conventional. Britain’s Peter Brook, of all people, directed the film version from a […]