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La Maman et la Putain (1973) Jean Eustache; Bernadette Lafont, Jean-Pierre Leaud
La Maman et la Putain (1973) Jean Eustache; Bernadette Lafont, Jean-Pierre Leaud


 
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This is a region-free DVD-R without case or artwork.

In French with English subtitles. This is a VHS transfer. Due to the length of the film (almost 4 hours), this film is a 2-DVD set. Also known as 'The Mother and the Whore'.

Alexandre (Léaud) is an unemployed intellectual who, having no money of his own, sponges off his lover, Marie (Bernadette Lafont), with whom he lives. A devotee of classical music and existentialist philosophy, Alexandre spends his days lost in thought or engaged in philosophical discussion with his long-haired student friends. One day, he meets up with a former girlfriend, Gilberte (Isabelle Weingarten), and asks if she will marry him. When she refuses, Alexandre turns his attention to another girl, a stranger, whom he sees sitting alone in a café. When they meet up subsequently, the girl, Veronika (Françoise Lebrun), takes a liking to the talkative young philosopher, and it is a short while before they are in bed together. When Alexandre’s other lover, Marie, finds out, she is angry, but does not leave him. Soon, Alexandre discovers that he has fallen in love with two women, both of whom are deeply in love with him, and both of whom are jealous of the other woman. How is he to resolve this impossible dilemma?

One of the last great flourishes of the French New Wave, 'La Maman et la Putain' is the one great film from director Jean Eustache, a potent and absorbing work featuring three very different characters with very contrasting approaches to life and love. Truthful, intelligent, sometimes witty, it is an engaging film which evokes the essence of Nouvelle Vague cinema, with all its poetry, daring and honesty. The fact that Eustache should choose to kill himself less than a decade after making this film adds a dark and sorrowful footnote to what is by any standards a masterpiece.

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