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Le combat dans l’île

Screening on Film
Directed by Alain Cavalier.
With Jean-Louis Trintignant, Romy Schneider, Henri Serre.
France, 1962, 35mm, black & white, 104 min.
French with English subtitles.

Like Eustache, Alain Cavalier began his filmmaking career (which continues to this day) just after the beginning of the New Wave. His first feature, Le combat dans l’île, is in some ways a precursor of Le Joli Mai, with both films diagnosing a malaise in the French body politic of the early 1960s that threatens to turn malign. Cavalier’s film is far from cinéma vérité, focusing rather on the marriage between an uptight young right-winger and a former actress that is threatened by the appearance of a free-spirited friend from the husband’s childhood. Lhomme’s lighting and framing brilliantly balances realism and expressionism, thereby enhancing the allegorical nature of Cavalier’s scenario.

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Devour the Land: Cinema, landscape, history.