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This selection offers drama but often with a touch of comedy, and although there are some serious themes, and occasional violence or tragedy, there isn't anything too 'heavy'.

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  • L'Etudiente et Monsieur Henri

    L'Etudiente et Monsieur Henri

  • Ce Qui Nous Lie

    Ce Qui Nous Lie

  • En Equilibre

    En Equilibre

  • Médecin de Campagne

    Médecin de Campagne

  • Dans La Cour

    Dans La Cour

  • Les Adoptés

    Les Adoptés

  • Cézanne et Moi

    Cézanne et moi

  • Gauguin - Voyage de Tahiti

    Gauguin - Voyage de Tahiti

  • Miss Montigny

    Miss Montigny

  • Les hommes du feu

    Les hommes du feu

  • Un Homme Idéal

    Un Homme Idéal

  • Hippocrate

    Hippocrate

  • Le Concert

    Le Concert

  • Belle et Sébastien

    Belle et Sébastien

  • Prendre le large

    Prendre le large

  • Après l'hiver, le printemps

    Après l'hiver, le printemps

  • Le monde est à toi

    Le monde est à toi

  • La Villa

    La Villa

  • Primaire

    Primaire

  • Les petits mouchoirs

    Les petits mouchoirs

  • La vie en miettes

    La vie en miettes

  • La guerre des boutons

    La guerre des boutons

  • La peau de chagrin

    La peau de chagrin

  • Deux moi

    Deux moi

  • Les gardiennes

    Les gardiennes

  • (In bed with) Victoria

    (In bed with) Victoria

  • Les héros ne meurent jamais

    Les héros ne meurent jamais

  • The Artist and the Model

    The Artist and the Model

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The Artist and the Model
The Artist and the Model
Continuing my exploration of the BFI catalogue, here we have a Spanish production in the French language. Don't be put off by the original title 'El artista y la modelo', nor by the fact that the opening credits are in Spanish.

Set in the Pyrenees in 1943, during WW2, it tells the story of an ageing artist, Marc Cros, who has not created anything since the beginning of the war. A chance encounter by his wife during a visit to town introduces her to a very attractive homeless young woman, Mercè. She offers her accommodation and keep on the understanding that she poses dénudé as a model for her husband.

She hesitantly agrees and is taken to his studio in the mountains, where she sees female sculptures and sketches. Marc tells her to undress, as if it was something quite natural for her to do, which it wasn't. And so begins Marc's quest to find that special spark that will allow him to create his 'ideal' form.

This is fundamentally a study of the relationship between Marc and Mercè, as the title of the film suggests. It starts as a typical artist/model situation, with him seeing her body as inspiration for his work and nothing more. But as time passes his feelings clearly become more emotional, to his embarrassment. But Mercè also develops feelings towards him.

There are diversions in the form of peeping Tom children, an injured resistance fighter, and a visiting German officer who is a good friend of Marc, being devoted to his art. But at its heart this is the story of Marc and Mercè.

At an early point Marc's wife, Lèa, asks if Mercè's body is a beautiful as hers was when she was younger, when she was Marc's model. Marc replies that nobody could be as beautiful as she was, which considering that Léa is played by Claudia Cardninale was, I thought, an interesting 'joke' for those of us old enough to remember Claudia Cardinale as a young woman.

Reviews have been mixed but I enjoyed this film, especially the vivid monochrome cinematography. There is a great deal of nudity but it doesn't come across as overtly sexual.



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