|Carla Marlier plays Albertine in Zacie dans le metro directed by Louis Malles|
Zazie dans le metro (1960)
d. Louis Malle
Criterion Collection #570
No matter how deep I get into the Criterion Collection there is always yet another filmmaker with a dozen plus films with whom I'm utterly unfamiliar. Today it's Louis Malle- he's got 17 titles in the Criterion Collection and I've seen... one. This one. It's impossible to characterize Malle's career in terms of a preference for genre or a distinctive style. Rather, Malle passes through film history like a kind of Zelig, making New Wavey type films during the French New Wave (this film) and helping to define a generation of American art house films two decades later (My Dinner With Andre.) Documentaries, dramas, and whatever- Malle has done it all.
Released during he first flush of the French New Wave, Zacie Dans le metro has an anarchic feel that resembles a Loony Toon in terms of energy. The story of Zazie dans le metro: A young girl spends the weeekend with her female impersonator cousin in Paris while her Mom is having a romantic rendevous, is merely a clothes hanger for a variety of slap stick gags and editing tricks. Like other French comedies of the 1960s Zazie dans le metro has a distinctly slapstick feel, with little of the "deep" meaning of contemporary films like 400 Blows or Breathless.
It's an enjoyable ride and maybe worth a watch for big Wes Anderson fans.