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PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

FALBALAS

4:15

Sunday, August 12

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Directed by Jacques Becker

(1945) Micheline Presle, up from the provinces to marry famed fashion designer Raymond Rouleau’s best friend, proves a sitting duck for the alley-cat courtier; but what he eventually realizes… Atmospheric evocation of the mostly female hothouse milieu of a top fashion house, made during the Occupation but released just after. The first to be billed “Un Film de Jacques Becker.” DCP. Approx. 95 min.​

Reviews

“I cry each time I see [Falbalas], but it gave me my vocation in life. It directed the way that I should make fashion – somebody in action, making the clothes, doing the fittings, having a muse. It was a very good portrait of the profession.”
– Jean Paul Gaultier

“BECKER’S FIRST MASTERWORK. Filmed with an elegant, graceful, decisive rapidity. Falbalas is a story of love unto madness—of the tangle of artistic inspiration, commercial responsibility, intimate betrayal, and romantic agony that leads to destruction. Becker himself was a self-described ‘maniac' about details, and he calibrates the film’s action exquisitely. The work in the fashion house—the comings and goings of employees, friends, and lovers—is choreographed with a turbulence that never dispels its air of refinement. For the first time, he proved himself to be a master of the closeup, the burning stare into camera, the nearly unbearable intimacy with characters that the cinema grants directors—and viewers.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“The most original, and best, of [Becker’s] early films… Every detail of the dressmaking process seems to fascinate the director, and he manages to make viewers care no less than he does.”
David Mermelstein, The Wall Street Journal