ANTOINE AND ANTOINETTE
Monday, April 22
(1947) Pauvre mais beau, but c’est la vie for struggling pulp publishing house worker Roger Pigaut and his wife, the radiant Claire Mafféi, a department store photo booth operator, who runs a veritable book club with the rejects her husband brings home, as he dreams of a motorcycle and rope dances along the edge of their rooftop, with time out for l’amour avant dîner. A real slice of life, where neighbors casually pop in through garret windows, Pigaut lines his shoes with newspaper cut-outs, insinuating greengrocer Noël Roquevert saves the best leeks for Mafféi, who sometimes blows a sou or two on a silly lottery ticket… but what if they won the big one? What if they lost the ticket? What if…? A triumph of the unsung Becker’s cinema style: discreetly moving cinema, cuts on movement and action, and a steady if relentless pace that gave Becker a gift for pure narrative. The only film to ever be awarded the Cannes Film Festival Prix du meilleur film psychologique et d’amour—Best Psychological and Love Film! DCP. Approx. 84 min.
Part of Jacques Becker’s Paris Youth Trilogy.
“A swift, spontaneous depiction of la vie quotidienne, full of lovely Paris locations involving a myriad of subtly introduced and interwoven subsidiary characters. A film of great charm, zest and atmosphere, admirably served by its players and accompanied by Jean-Jacques Grünenwald’s beguiling score.”
– John Gillet
“Becker’s ecstatic, overwhelmingly intimate close-ups of the couple burn away daily cares with the blinding heat of erotic passion.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“The film walks an evocative line between realism and fantasy, capturing the energetic effervescence of the City of Light and showing how it complements the unbreakable bond between our impassioned heroes.”
– Keith Uhlich, Time Out (New York)