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Double Feature: JULES AND JIM (JULES ET JIM), 1962, Janus Films, 105 min. Dir. François Truffaut. In one of the greatest films of the French New Wave, Truffaut elevates the material of old-fashioned melodrama into high art: Two friends are forced to fight on different sides during World War I and then fall in love with the same woman during peacetime. The film follows the shifting relationships and affections among the three characters over the course of many years, creating a powerful emotional experience that is both intimate and epic. With Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner and Henri Serre. In French with English subtitles.
BAY OF ANGELS (LA BAIE DES ANGES), 1963, Janus Films, 79 min. One of director Jacques Demy’s darker and more melancholy efforts, his second feature (following his triumphant debut, LOLA) tells the story of a vacationing bank clerk (Claude Mann) who gets involved with compulsive gambler Jeanne Moreau. The characters are surrounded by lush settings – the film takes place against the backdrop of Nice casinos and beaches – yet the obsessive behavior and gray cinematography undercut the glamour at every ironic moment. Legend has it that Jacques Demy wrote the script for this classic in three days during a production delay on THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG! Michel Legrand’s music is haunting. In French with English subtitles.