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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Zazie dans le metro (1960) d. Louis Malle

Carla Marlier plays Albertine in Zacie dans le metro directed by Louis Malles

Movie Review
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.

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