La prestige de la Mort

Director: Luc Moullet

France| 2006| 75 mins

French comedy director extraordinaire Luc Moullet is not as well known outside France as he should be. In his most recent outing, Moullet directs and stars as himself in an odd but hilarious new comedy. The premise has Moullet in a depreciative selfcaricature as an over-the-hill director who has hit upon a new scheme to restore public interest in his own work: he fakes his own death (delayed, within the story, by the passing of Jean-Luc Godard), then assumes the identity of an oddball drifter whose body he finds in the desert during a location-scouting trip. He is convinced that the royalties will pour in from the use of his film clips in television. No points for guessing that the ploy works but how will Moullet contend with his new persona, or continue his film career, without raising the suspicions of nearly everyone? Moullet has said that he was inspired by Cecil B. DeMille’s 1918 film The Whispering Chorus and Andre Berthomieu’s film Mort en fuite to create this wonderful mockumentary which lies somewhere between biting satire and farce.

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