Double Feature: LA NOTTE (THE NIGHT), DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID
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Double Feature: LA NOTTE (THE NIGHT), 1961, Rialto Pictures, 122 min. The middle film in director Michelangelo Antonioni’s acclaimed early-1960s trilogy of alienation puts an upper-class marriage under the microscope as it disintegrates. After successful author Marcello Mastroianni and his wife (Jeanne Moreau) visit a hospital to see a dying friend, they go to a party where each meets a flirtatious guest (Giorgio Negro and Monica Vitti) and is forced to confront the emptiness of their relationship. A Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear winner (and one of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite films). In Italian and French with English subtitles.
DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID, 1964, Rialto Pictures, 101 min. Dir. Luis Buñuel. Jeanne Moreau gives a keenly observant and morally ambiguous performance as Parisian maid Céléstine, transplanted to the French countryside to clean house at the manor of M. Monteil (a lusty, wolfish Michel Piccoli). What she discovers in her wintry bucolic surroundings is anything but staid country life – shoe fetishes, simmering anti-Semitism and a brutal rape and murder are all pieces of the unsettling debris that rise to the surface in Luis Buñuel’s wicked, kinky take on the upstairs-downstairs genre. In French with English subtitles.