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The Afternoon of Mr. Andesmas

Director: Michelle Porte

FRANCE| 2004| FRENCH W/ENGLISH SUBTITLES| COLOUR| 78 MINS


A very literary two-hander involving the intersections of two strangers’ related great loves, The Afternoon of Mr. Andesmas represents a footnote in the cinematic career of the late Marguerite Duras. Longtime Duras assistant Michelle Porte’s debut feature relates a long afternoon during which an old man’s serenity is assaulted by a woman’s persistent revelations of romantic secrets. Michel Bouquet is in strong form as the title character, an old gent who goes for an appointment to the remote mountaintop home he’s bought for his beloved daughter Valerie. First, the expected man’s daughter turns up to say he’ll be late, then his wife (Miou-Miou) arrives to repeat the message. Latter sticks around, however, to grimly inform Andesmas about what’s going on between his daughter and her own husband. Plainly photographed in lush southern French countryside, the film is dominated bydialogue as windy as the stiff breezes that blow through the trees and forbids any feeling to seep through its intellectual armour.

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