Monday, 14 March 2011

Un Homme et une Femme (A Man and a Woman)

The exemplar of not only “cool” but “funny”, Jean-Louis Trintignant (Jean-Louis) falls in love with the disarming and not-unattractive Anouk Aimee (Anne). Well, who wouldn’t? And who, given half a chance, couldn’t? 1966’s Un Homme et une Femme sees these two perfect specimens collide.

She’s a film script supervisor. He’s a race car driver. They couldn’t be any more sexy, stylish (and of course French) but most significantly each of them is a widow/widower. She has a cute little girl and he has a cute little boy who attend the same boarding school. One evening, having visited their children, she misses her train and he offers her a lift. What follows should make even the iciest of viewer's hearts melt. As French as Camembert and yes, it is a bit cheesy. However, that makes it so completely charming. It is very of its time thus something of a time capsule. Youtube the theme tune and I bet you’ll know it. It’s like France distilled.

The story is quite conventional but the style has a French New Wave sensibility. For example, there are cut-aways and crash edits aplenty. The mixture of black & white, colour and sepia film stocks also proves it’s a little more “out there” than your average love story. The direction from Claude Lelouch is exceedingly ahem, adroit. He is deftly skilled in both the technical and the emotional and it’s not hard to see why he went on to make some forty films after this.

1 comment:

  1. Wait... So let me get this straight Homme is French for Man? ..... So that French Homme I murdered he wasn't g.... Oh god!