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Marius and Jeannette

To coincide with the release of two new films by French director Robert Guediguian (see ‘Main Films’), we present a chance to see two of his earlier films. Marius et Jeannette is the film that established Guediguian’s reputation in the English-speaking world. The setting is the filmmaker’s home city ofMarseilles, where spunky mom Jeannette (the remarkable Ariane Ascaride)loses her job in a supermarket after a run-in with her boss. She meets the amiable Marius (Gerard Meylan) when he catches her trying to steal paint from the disused factory where he works as a security guard. The pair strike up a friendship that gradually blossoms into an affair.
Beyond the wholly charming misfit romance, Guediguian is concerned with providing a detailed and authentic portrait of a whole community, and the film is crammed with gatherings and shared meals in which the richly varied characters expound on love, life, food, politics and philosophy. The film is ultimately about how community and friendship can make economic and emotional hardships bearable.
France, 1996. English subtitles. Colour. 102 min.

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