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Miscellaneous French films
Vol. 6


Olivier Olivier (1993)
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Starring: (see below)

Olivier Olivier

Rated: NR
Edition Details:
NTSC format (VHS, for use in U.S. and Canada only); Subtitles in English; Color; HiFi Sound, Digital Sound
Feature length: 110 minutes.
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ASIN: 6303023045

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When nine-year-old Olivier disappears, his mother, who dotes on him to the exclusion of her husband and 11-year-old daughter, is beside herself with grief. Enlisting the help of a police inspector to find her son, she refuses to admit the possibility that he might be dead. Six years later the police inspector finds an adolescent male prostitute who he believes to be the missing Olivier, and the boy is "reunited" with his family. The mother is ecstatic, but the husband and daughter -- always jealous of the mother's attention to Olivier -- have reservations. When the boy begins making sexual advances toward his sister, the atmosphere of tension and mystery increases.

Based on a true account in a French newspaper.

Starring: François Cluzet, Brigitte Roüan, Jean-François Stévenin, Grégoire Colin, Marina Golovine, Frederic Quiring, Faye Gatteau, Emmanuel Morozof, Carole Lemerle, Jean-Bernard Josko, Lucrèce La Chenardière, Madeleine Marie, Françoise Lorente, Alexis Derlon, Mathias Jung

Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)
Starring: Gaspard Manesse, et al.

Au Revoir les Enfants

Director: Louis Malle
Rated: PG
Edition Details:
NTSC format (VHS, for use in U.S. and Canada only); Subtitles in English; Hi-Fi Stereo; Number of tapes: 1
Feature length: 103 minutes.
Currently out-of-stock.
ASIN: 630121613X

*THIS TITLE IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE. The publisher is out of stock. Should you wish to purchase this title, we recommend that you occasionally check this page to see if it's been reprinted.

The long shadow of Malle's autobiographical memoir of occupied France continues to fall heavily across subsequent representations of World War II, boarding school, and male adolescence -- in fact, it would be difficult to identify a recent film that addresses these concerns and does not, in some substantial way, echo Au Revoir Les Enfants. The straightforward, unsentimental, gutsy Enfants finds its 12-year-old protagonist, Julien Quentin, sheltered from the conflict in a Catholic school. His classmate Jean, a new arrival, becomes first a competitor, then a beloved friend. Jean, however, hides a secret from his classmates and the Gestapo; evenly, subtly, Malle creates an atmosphere of hovering and inescapable danger.

The plainspoken courage with which Malle tells his story remains wholly engrossing. Cinematography is masterful and drunk with childlike wonder, alternating claustrophobic, wood-paneled church interiors with vivid, occasionally frightening outdoor vistas. And never is it more affecting than in the chilling scene where Justin gets lost in the woods during a seemingly innocent game of capture-the-treasure; trees and rocks flash by the running boy with an austere, impersonal beauty.
-- Miles Bethany

Winner of seven Césars (the French Oscars) in 1997, including Best Picture.



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