Hors saison

This is a rare opportunity to see one of underrated Swiss director Daniel Schmid’s fine films. A sweetly nostalgic comedy, Hors saison is set in a Swiss hotel, now dilapidated and about to be torn down but once a fabulous place as remembered by Valentin (Carlos Devesa), whose family ran the establishment when he was a boy. As he revisits the magical site’s empty halls and ballrooms, flashbacks reveal episodes in the lives of the hotel’s former guests. One of Valentine’s favourite experiences was hearing his grandmother tell how an anarchist assassinated an enemy at the hotel, and another treasured episode was the time the famous French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt seduced the boy’s grandfather. The film is distinguished by fine performances (the cast includes Arielle Dombasle, Ingrid Caven and Andrea Ferreol), splendid cinematography and a deft use of flashbacks.

Switzerland/France/Germany, 1992.
English subtitles.
Dolby stereo.
95 mins.

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