Sundays and Cybele
January 29, 2012 9:34 AM Subscribe
posted by not_that_epiphanius (8 comments total)
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In 1962, the New York Times
called it a masterpiece, and it won the Oscar for best foreign film that year. If you can't see it any other way, one
reviewer on IMDB will rent a theater and screen it for you - if you don't mind a trip to Melbourne. Sundays and Cybele (Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray) is worth tracking down, however you manage.
The film treats delicately of the love between a psychically wounded man, who is capable of violent as well as tender impulses, and a schoolgirl who has been abandoned by her family. The viewer, along with the film's male protagonist, is initiated by the girl into a world of pagan magic created by her imagination, and which is of course in conflict with the world outside. The film might also be seen as an allegory of Viet Nam at the time the film was made.
The cinematography is at times experimental, in service of the film's portrayal of the male lead's disturbed state of mind. The soundtrack is an early effort by Maurice Jarre, and sound design is an important element of the film. The screenplay features (French, subtitled but easy to follow) dialog written by the writer of the novel that the film is based on, and never falters. The director, Serge Bourguignon, made only a handful
of movies after Les dimanches, his debut. I can't imagine how he could have surpassed it.
Released on DVD
by Sony only in 2009, it is still difficult
to get a copy that's licensed for viewing in North America.
Because of the theme of romantic love between an adult and a child, it may not be suitable viewing for everyone.