France | 1974 | DCP | B&W | 122 min | Paul Vecchiali
SATURDAY 5 | CINETECA NACIONAL SALA 9 | 21:30 HRS | 115 MIN
Director: Paul Vecchiali
Screenplay: Noël Simsolo, Paul Vecchiali
Producer: Paul Vecchiali
Cinematography: Georges Strouvé
Editing: Paul Vecchiali
Music: Roland Vincent
Cast: Hélène Surgère, Sonia Saviange, Michel Duchaussoy & Michel Delahaye
For an actress, playing becomes a necessity, even if she knows that her glory days are over. We will meet two, Hélène and Sonia, who share the same apartment and the same dreams. However, Hélène has quit: while Sonia accepts small roles in province plays and soap operas, Hélène locks herself up among her walls decorated by pictures of the great vedettes and having as only company her bottles of alcohol. Surrounded by this crazy little world, both women hold between them relations of sometimes hateful complicity where theater always has a role, for they are each the audience of one another. The past reunites them, above all, the same husband, of whom they took the same excentricities. But the incomes will start to diminish… The most emblematic film of Paul Vecchiali’s oeuvre, named as one of the fifteen best film of the seventies by the Cahiers du cinéma, is a bittersweet study on the psyche of two actresses that face the world the only way they know how to do it: by playing.
Paul Vecchiali (Corsica, 1930) is a French filmmaker and writer. Despite being a fervent admirer of the classical French cinema that was buried unjustly by the Cahiers du cinéma, he worked as a film critic for this magazine during a couple of years until he eventually directed his first feature in 1966. He went on to direct three films which were celebrated mainly by the critics and intellectuals of the time -from Serge Daney to Pier Paolo Pasolini- and then, in 1976 he created the production company Diagonale, which Serge Bozon declared the most important movement in French cinema since the Nouvelle vague. It is within this company that he produces his own films and later shelters a group of younger filmmakers whose thematical and stylistic interests were similar to his (Jean-Claude Biette, Marie-Claude Treilhou, Jean-Claude Guiguet and even Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet). After Diagonale´s collapse, in 1994, Vecchiali started a new phase of his career which is made up of amateur films shot without much financial aid and which is still running today. His films have been shown in film festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Berlin, among many others. He has also written novels and an encyclopedia in two tomes on the French cinema of the thirties.