Andre Techine [3 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Hotel des Amériques
The beautiful Helene (Catherine Deneuve) works in a hospital as an anesthesiologist and so when she accidentally hits Gilles (Patrick Dewaere) while driving her car, she can jump out and know exactly what to do to make sure he is not seriously hurt. The two start off a relationship based on this "chance" meeting, though the inauspicious beginning should have served as a warning. Gilles does not do very much except live in a room in his family's hotel and hang out. His lethargic approach to life is an anesthetic in itself, and since Helene is still mourning the death of her former lover a few years before, she is not overly anxious to start a new romance. The two of them go back and forth in a cat-and-mouse game until Helene tires of going nowhere and decides to leave for Paris. Considering how difficult it is for Gilles to rise to any action, it seems that Helene may remain alone unless she runs into someone else. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Wild Reeds
This is a nostalgic French coming-of-age drama from director Andre Techine set in a Provence deeply divided over the war for independence being waged against French colonialism in Algeria. In 1962, Francois (Gael Morel) and Maite (Elodie Bouchez) are best friends and students at a boarding school in southwestern France, where Maite's mother Madame Alvarez (Michele Moretti) is an instructor. Francois is realizing he's gay because of his attraction to his working class roommate Serge (Stephane Rideau). Although Serge seduces Francois one night, he is not gay and is actually attracted to Maite. So is Henri (Frederic Gorny), a radically-politicized Algerian-born Frenchman who supports France in the war, an unpopular position, particularly with Madame Alvarez, a communist. The classroom sparring between Henri and Alvarez galvanizes the school, but then word comes that Serge's older brother has been killed in the war. Madame Alvarez, who loved him but refused to help him desert the military, becomes so unhinged that she must be sent away for treatment. Wild Reeds (1994) won four Cesars (France's equivalent of the Oscar), including the award for that year's Best Picture, beating such other notable films as Red (1994) and Queen Margot (1994). ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

My Favorite Season
French critic and filmmaker André Téchiné directs the intense family drama Ma Saison Préférée (My Favorite Season), which he co-wrote with screenwriter Pascal Bonitzer. Family matriarch Berthe (Marthe Villalonga) is advancing in years and developing health problems, so she goes to live with her daughter Emilie (Catherine Deneuve). Emilie is a cold, fiftysomething professional who lives in a large upper-class home in Toulouse. She also lives with her husband Bruno (Jean-Pierre Bouvier), her daughter Anne (Deneuve's real-life daughter Chiara Mastroianni), and her adopted son Lucien (Anthony Prada). When Christmas arrives, Emilie's troubled brother Antoine (Daniel Auteuil) arrives at the house for a visit. He and Emilie have not spoken since their father's funeral three years ago. Despite his attempts to maintain control, Antoine quickly comes into conflict with Bruno. Painful emotional realities from the past return and cause violent conclusions. My Favorite Season was shown in competition at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

J'embrasse pas
Young, naive and innocent, Pierre (Manuel Blanc) has dreams of becoming an actor. He is a good-looking and personable boy, and he has just moved to the city to see if he can't accomplish his dreams. He gets a job as an orderly at a hospital and is further supported by an older woman (Helene Vincent), a nurse he has met there, in return for his sexual favors. However, in his acting class, he quickly discovers that he is not overflowing with talent, and his dream of becoming an actor grows dim. Instead, despite the advice of a knowledgeable and worldly older gay man (Philippe Noiret), he becomes a sex worker. It has long been a staple of the movies that certain hustlers and prostitutes maintain a distinction between their work and their lives by not kissing their clients, hence the title of this film, J'embrasse Pas. He grows to love the seedy, degraded lifestyle, and seems to be adapting well to his new profession until he has the poor judgement to fall in love with a high-class prostitute (Emmanuelle Béart) and earns the antagonism of her pimp. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Catherine Deneuve
    Catherine Deneuve - Helene
  • Patrick Dewaere
    Patrick Dewaere - Gilles
  • Etienne Chicot
    Etienne Chicot - Bernard
  • Josiane Balasko
    Josiane Balasko - Colette
  • Sabine Haudepin
    Sabine Haudepin - Elise
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