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PRIVATE FEARS IN PUBLIC PLACES

Director: ALAIN RESNAIS

120 minutes| France| 2006| Subtitled| Colour| Anamorphic| Dolby Digital Stereo| 35mm


‘Same again, sir?’ A hotel bartender (Pierre Arditi) serves an ex-army officer (Lambert Wilson) who is engaged to Nicole (Laura Morante). Her estate agent Thierry (Andre Dussollier) is secretly attracted to his deceptively demure colleague Charlotte (Sabine Azema), even more so when she lends him a video of uplifting religious songs which unexpectedly runs on to a porn film. Meanwhile Charlotte spends her nights as carer to the bartender’s father who off-screen bellows a lifetime’s discontents. Resnais’ second adaptation of an Alan Ayckbourn play is a delicate daisy-chain of desire and disappointment, perfectly performed and often very funny. Ayckbourn intended the play to show how our lives are linked more closely than we realise; and Resnais adds an extra poignancy as he observes the snows of memory and mortality, fear and failure falling on each character alike. A shot towards the end of two snow-covered clasped hands in a kitchen is one of the most haunting of his entire career.

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