This Week’s Agenda
This week, we are highlighting two film classics and one new release.
The Night of the Hunter (1955) is Charles Laughton’s only film. He described it as a “sort of Mother Goose Tale”, but the film has influences of silent era expressionistic cinema, of film noir suspense, and of the musical. As Adrian Martin wrote, “it is as if the very fabric of the surreal universe created by Laughton is woven in and through the magical effects and properties of singing – especially when we reach the unlikely duet of Rachel and Powell, during their tense nocturnal stand-off, harmonising to ‘Leaning on the Everlasting Arms’ – one of the most disquieting and wondrous scenes in all cinema.”
Les Diaboliques by Henri-Georges Clouzot was released in the same year as Night of the Hunter. This film doesn’t feature a diabolical false preacher, but two infernal women instead: the wife and the mistress of a school principal who are both out for murder. The film similarly acknowledges the conventions of film noir, yet it disrupts them. According to Bosley Crowther, “it is a pip of a murder thriller, ghost story and character play rolled into one. (…) Everything seems to be set up for one of those ghastly little psychological tales of genteel mismating and frustration, when – bing! – the mischief begins.”
The latest documentary by Nicolas Philibert, Sur l’Adamant, will be released in Belgian theatres this week. With his crew, Philibert followed the patients and caregivers of a psychiatric day center called Adamant, which is situated on a boat floating on the Seine in the center of Paris. The first screening in Flagey will be in the presence of Linda de Zitter, clinical psychologist and founding member of Adamant.