• Un Carnet de bal

    1937. France. Julien Duvivier. 130 min.

Introduced by Stephen Sondheim

Thursday, May 14, 2009, 8:00 p.m.


  • Un Carnet de bal

    1937. France. Directed by Julien Duvivier. Screenplay by Julien Duvivier, Henri Jeanson, Yves Mirande, Jean Sarment, Pierre Wolff, Bernard Zimmer. With Françoise Rosay, Harry Baur, Louis Jouvet, Raimu, Fernandel, Pierre Blanchar, Pierre Richard-Willm. In the first and greatest of all Duvivier's sketch films, a rich widow seeks to discover the fates of the suitors she danced with as a young woman at her first ball. As Graham Greene marveled in his 1937 review, the mood of melancholy nostalgia gives way to farce, tragedy, menace, and then pure annihilating misery as she reunites with a village mayor, a gangster, a priest, the mother of a suicide victim, and an epileptic abortionist: "The padded and opulent emotions wither before the evil detail: the camera shoots at a slant so that the [abortionist’s] dingy flat rears like a sinking ship…. Genuine poverty is in Duvivier's Marseilles flat—the tin surgical basin, the antiseptic soap, the mechanical illegality and the complete degradation." In French; English subtitles. 130 min.

In the Film exhibition Julien Duvivier

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