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Loulou (1980)

  • Globe Cinema 617 8th Ave SW Calgary, AB (map)

Directed by Maurice Pialat | France | 117 mins.

Maurice Pialat is as highly-esteemed in certain circles as any French filmmaker of his generation. This is no small accomplishment considering that despite the fact he would not direct a feature film until well after the initial ascendency of the movement, he was in fact a little older that most of the directors comprising the vanguard of the French New Wave. Pialat steadfastly belonged to no movement, and his famous ill temper and antagonism endeared him to few. When his 1987 masterpiece Under the Sun of Satan won the Palme d’Or at Cannes that year, booing erupted at the awards gala, a response that almost certainly had more to do with Pialat himself than with the film under consideration. Of course, Pialat promptly upbraided the dissenters in turn. Because Pialat's films combine a certain quality of naturalism with exposition and performance styles that foreground the messy and dynamic rhythms that predominate in human affairs, his work is often compared with that of John Cassavettes. His 1980 film Loulou casts emergent stars Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu as ill-suited and combative lovers from what one might call opposite sides of the track. In collaborating with Pialat, Huppert is given the opportunity to bare her fangs a little, and show that she can give as good as she can get.

- Written by Jason Wierzba

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