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Hollywood during the Depression: Le Belle Equipe

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Doors open at 7:00 p.m.
Event starts at 7:30 p.m. 
Price at the door:  $5.00

Le Belle Equipe

Portage Theater
4050 N Milwaukee Ave, chicago, IL 60600
Click here for location info

LA BELLE EQUIPE

Directed by Julien Duvivier • 1936

Five factory stiffs, led by Jean Gabin, win the national lottery and find themselves with 100,000 francs between

them. They agreed to put all the proceeds towards a workers’ open-air dance hall on the banks of the Marne. Made

during the very brief moment when such a gesture sounded both guileless and politically-charged, La belle équipe

exemplifies the cinema of the Popular Front, France’s short-lived, pan-leftist solution to mounting fascism. (It’s a

tribute to the emotional and social complexity of La belle équipe that it records the optimism of the period while

also acknowledging its mundane frailty.) Scripted by Charles Spaak, the French film industry’s most committed

scenarist, La belle équipe was briefly eyed as a project by Jean Renoir, whose own collaborations with Spaak

include Les bas-fonds and La grande illusion. Prolific director Julien Duvivier, a friend of Renoir’s, proved quite

capable of helming the picture. Once a classic of college film societies under the generic and uninvolving title They

Were Five, this is exceedingly rare and undervalued these days—a real missing link in thirties French cinema. (KW)

In French with English subtitles.

101 min. • Ciné-Arys • 16mm Print from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 http://www.northwestchicagofilmsociety.org/calendar/archives/classic/2012-april-august/

About the artists:

Le Belle Equipe

LA BELLE EQUIPE

Directed by Julien Duvivier • 1936

Five factory stiffs, led by Jean Gabin, win the national lottery and find themselves with 100,000 francs between

them. They agreed to put all the proceeds towards a workers’ open-air dance hall on the banks of the Marne. Made

during the very brief moment when such a gesture sounded both guileless and politically-charged, La belle équipe

exemplifies the cinema of the Popular Front, France’s short-lived, pan-leftist solution to mounting fascism. (It’s a

tribute to the emotional and social complexity of La belle équipe that it records the optimism of the period while

also acknowledging its mundane frailty.) Scripted by Charles Spaak, the French film industry’s most committed

scenarist, La belle équipe was briefly eyed as a project by Jean Renoir, whose own collaborations with Spaak

include Les bas-fonds and La grande illusion. Prolific director Julien Duvivier, a friend of Renoir’s, proved quite

capable of helming the picture. Once a classic of college film societies under the generic and uninvolving title They

Were Five, this is exceedingly rare and undervalued these days—a real missing link in thirties French cinema. (KW)

In French with English subtitles.

101 min. • Ciné-Arys • 16mm Print from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 




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Saturday Sep 12th 7:00 p.m.

Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited with special guests

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