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SMOKING

Director: ALAIN RESNAIS

146 minutes| France-Italy-Switzerland| 1993| Subtitled| Colour| Dolby Stereo| 35mm


** Smoking will show at 15.20 and No Smoking at 18.10. These are separate performances but combined tickets for both films will also be available. **

Adapted from Alan Ayckbourn’s 1982-83 play Intimate Exchanges and set in a Yorkshire village, the drama of these two films is propelled by the single circumstance of whether the insecure wife (Sabine Azema) of an alcoholic headmaster (Pierre Arditi) will light a cigarette or not. This then spins off into six tales, each with an alternative conclusion, and all ending in a graveyard. Once you have adjusted to the odd spectacle of English mores being viewed through the prism of a French sensibility, the rewards are plentiful, particularly in No Smoking, with its clever shifts of mood and wonderful comedy set-pieces staged around a shed and a dinner-table. The 17 roles are superlatively performed by the two principals as they range across a gamut of emotions and themes.

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