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Antoine de Caunes
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An oppressed and exploited young woman (Marie) begins charging for her sexual favors and completely disrupts the smug patriarchal capitalist society of the village of Tellier.Written by
English Showalter <email@example.com>
...just as Manon des sources had done in Pagnol's film of 1952, to settle some old scores with the bigoted people in a small French town. The priest, the pharmacist, the bistro owner--they're all trying to cheat her in one way or another, and they all find her charms irresistible: no wonder, since she's played by Bernadette Lafont, the sexpot in so many films by Truffaut, Chabrol, Doniol-Valcroze, Molinaro etc. The story is flimsy, Kaplan's direction is loose and somewhat unfocused, and the viewer is left with the sense that this picture did not start a trend in French cinema (Bunuel, after all, was working the same vein at the time), nor is it the culmination of one.
I haven't seen Nelly Kaplan's other films, and don't feel any loss. I think she was more of a theorist than an auteur. The film goes along agreeably enough, and Lafont and Michel Constantin make an attractive couple, but this is hardly essential viewing.
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