The Decline of the American Empire

Screening on Film
Directed by Denys Arcand.
With Dominique Michel, Dorothée Berryman, Louise Portal.
Canada, 1986, 35mm, color, 101 min.
French with English subtitles.

Four university professors share their thoughts on life and love while preparing a feast at a country estate as their female guests engage in a similar exchange at a sauna. When the two groups converge, their comfortable intellectual banter is disrupted by some startling revelations. Although derisively dubbed as a Quebecois Big Chill, Arcand’s work provides far deeper insights into middle-class ennui. Arcand recently followed up on these characters in his Oscar-winning film, The Barbarian Invasions.

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