Catherine Deneuve and Heinz Bennent in Le dérnier metro (The last metro) from 1980 by legendary French director François Truffaut. The film, who was one of Truffauts last and also stars Gerard Depardieu, is screened at Vienna Café on Thursday.
Vienna Café cooks up with a Truffaut movie this coming Thursday! One of film history´s most important directors didn’t only write and direct Les 400 coups, Jules et Jim, Baisers volés…but also Le Dernier métro (The last metro), which is the movie of choice for this week.
François Truffaut (1932-1984) started as an angry young film critic in André Bazin´s film magazine Cahiers du cinéma, in good company with other big names such as Jean-Luc Godard and Alain Resnais. His merciless pen, claiming French film was pretentious and artificial and entitling commercial Americans and obscure B-filmmakers with the auteur-title, made him earn the name “The Gravedigger of French Cinema.” He was even banned from the Cannes Film Festival in the year of 1958.
His first feature film, the French new wave classic The 400 Blows (1959), is often mentioned as one of film history’s most important films, or “one of the best movies about childhood ever made.” The movie won Truffaut a Best Director award from the Cannes Film Festival, the same festival that had banned him just one year earlier. The 400 Blows marked the beginning of the French New Wave movement, dealing with a self-conscious rejection of traditional cinema structure, which gave directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Jacques Rivette a wider audience.
Truffaut is also important for having developed the auteur theory, one of the most influential theories of cinema itself.
This week’s movie of choice, The Last Metro (1980), was one of Truffaut’s last. Set in Paris 1942 it tells the story of Jewish theater director Lucas Steiner and his wife Marion Steiner. Marion, an actress, struggles to keep Lucas concealed from the Nazis in their theater cellar while trying to keep the theater alive with a new play.
Some trivia from City Weekend:
The title The Last Métro (the last underground train) is a referral to the fact that during the occupation it was imperative that Parisians catch the last train (Métro) home. This was to avoid breaking the strict curfew imposed by the Nazis. During the winter months of occupied Paris, there was no way to obtain coal and the only manner in which people could keep warm was attending plays in theatres which ended just before the last train left.
The movie gave Truffaut an international revival, and garnered twelve Cesar Award nominations with ten wins, including Best Director. It stars Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Jean Poiret, Heinz Bennent and Andréa Ferréol and is screened in French with English subtitles.
Where: Vienna Café, 25-2 Shaoxing Lu, near Shanxi Nan Lu.
Starts: 19:30 Thursday 15th October 2009
Check out what other movies are showing in Shanghai this coming week after the jump. Links lead to info about times and venues.
CHINESE LANGUAGE MOVIES
- Feng Sheng: Riding the wave of the tv series and theater of the same name, this espionage flick features Zhou Xun, Zhang Hanyu and Li Bingbing. Set in 1941 Hangzhou, this story reveals the battle between four espionage suspects within the CCP, as each tries to divert suspicion from themselves. Mandarin only.
- The Warrior and The Wolf (Lang zai ji): This costume fantasy drama is the latest production by China´s influential director and producer Tian Zhuangzhuang. Set in the Qing Dynasty, the plot follows a warrior and his foreign lover. Their romantic encounters lead to a supernatural event. Japanese star Joe Odagiri, Taiwanese actor Tuo Zonghua and American diva Maggie Q star. Mandarin only.
- Wheat: Award-winning Chinese director He Ping creates a new costume drama featuring Wang Zhiwen, Fan Bingbing, Huang Jue and Wang Ji. The film opened to enthusiastic crowds at this year´s Shanghai International Film Festival and follows the adventures of two army deserters in an entirely female kingdom during the Warring States Period. Mandarin only.
- Copy Cat: In Copy Cat, a guy’s life falls into chaos after he accidentally discovers a bootleg disc factory.
- My Fair Gentleman (窈窕绅士, Yao Tiao Shen Shi): My Fair Gentleman” follows the romantic pursuit of a newly rich businessman obsessed with a female entertainer. Through the hilarious quest for a woman he thinks is the love of his life, the vulgar rich man transforms himself, as well as the object of his affection. In the end, he becomes a perfect gentleman.
- The Women in War: The Six Sisters from Yimeng (Zhan Zheng Zhong De Nü Ren – Yi Meng Liu Jie Mei): In 1947, six women volunteer to prepare rations and supplies for the communist soldiers, who are fighting a bloody battle against the Nationalist government troops. Mandarin.
- Royal Tattoo (Huang Jia Ci Qing, 皇家刺青): The film is a costume kung fu comedy with a mix of a Chinese version of Prison Break. It´s a humorous reinterpretation of a classic plot about a Qing Dynasty royal secret treasure and tattoo treasure map.
- The Message (Feng Sheng, 风声): “The Message” is set in Japanese-occupied China in 1942. It tells a story of a Japanese spy chief trying to identify a Chinese agent from a group of suspects. Produced by China’s leading entertainment producer Huayi Brothers, the film is the company’s tribute to the 60th birthday of the People’s Republic of China. Riding the popularity of the TV series and play of the same name, this espionage flick features Zhou Xun, Zhang Hanyu and Li Bingbing. Mandarin only.
- Shen Bing Xiao Jiang (神兵小将): An animated feature based on Wong Yuk Long’s manhua series, directed by the comic creator himself.
- The King of Milu Deer (麋鹿王): Claiming to be China’s first animated 3D blockbuster, The King of Milu Deer is about a deer-turned girl and her lover, who together try to save the Milu deer species from villains. Featuring the voices of such stars as Ge You and Li Yang.
- Prequel of the Monkey King (齐天大圣－前传): After two and a half years in production, “Prequel of the Monkey King,” has hit the big screen. The film was produced by country’s best minds in the field of 3D animation. The prequel is loosely based on the first five acts of, Journey to the West, by the famous Qing Dynasty writer Wu Cheng’en. Apart from a few imaginative touches, the film grabs the most attention with its use of 3D technology. The film’s characters, a dragon king and a little monkey, appears to leap off the screen.
- Snake Curse (She Zhou, 蛇咒): For the lovers of bad cinema everywhere, here comes what looks like one supremely cheesy Chinese B-Horror, titled Snake Curse. Apparently the film was originally released back in around 1995, but for some reason it´s now set to get a second theatrical release in mainland China. The plot revolves around a mad scientists experiments in blending human and snake DNA – the result being a Medusa like femme fatale, who goes on a killing spree. A berserk Chinese killer snake monster movie that promises to deliver maximum amounts of kung fu, snake fu, snake woman fu, and Gordon Liu.
- Ke ai de Zhong Guo (可爱的中国): A bio-pic of Fang Zhimi, a senior Chinese Red Army leader executed by the Nationalist government in 1934.
- The Foundation Of A Republic (建国大业): This offering from China Film Board chairman Sanping Han tells the story of the founding of the PRC, in celebration of the country’s birthday. Chinese megacelebrities Chen Kaige , Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Chen Daoming and Ge You star. Mandarin only.
OTHER LANGUAGE MOVIES
- Nepobedimyy (特工008): Chronicles the adventures of Russian special intelligence agent Yegor Kremnyov. It involves fugitive oligarchs, western crime syndicates and top-secret papers. Languages: Russian / English.
- Scandal Makers: Head over to watch this ubiquitous Korean romantic comedy featuring Cha Tae-hyeon and Park Bao-young. Cha stars as a show talk presenter whose program gains instant popularity from a single mother’s story. However, Cha’s life is turned upside down when the single mother shows up at his home with her six-year-old son. Language TBD.