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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

Archive


La peau de chagrin
La peau de chagrin
This TV film is based on the 1831 novel by Honoré de Balzac. Reading the Wikipedia entry for the book shows how faithful the film is to the original story. With beautiful period costumes and depictions of bourgeois Paris life, it's a delightful film to watch.

The story is one of fantasy, although Balzac preferred conte philosophique, and it is indeed a tale that explores the philosophy of life as much as the somewhat mystique talisman upon which the story is based.

Raphaël de Valentin is an aspiring author who has laboured long to produce a hefty tome only to find that he can't get it published. He owes his landlady rent and teaching her daughter Pauline piano is no longer sufficient to meet his debt. He decides to leave and is given a Napoléon (a 20 Franc piece) by Pauline to help him on his way. But he gambles it and loses.

Distraught he turns to suicide. Failing to jump into the Seine he comes across a strange antique shop with a pistol in the window. He goes in to buy it, to use on himself, but encounters a mystical old man who suggests a better plan. He shows him an animal hide that he says is invested with the power to grant any wish. But in making such a pact, the bearer must understand that for every wish the hide will shrink and, ultimately, disappear. At which point the bearer will die.

Dismissing the whole thing as bunkum, Raphaël immediately makes a number of outlandish wishes and leaves. No sooner is he in the street the first of these wishes starts to materialise. And the others are soon delivered. He becomes rich, he publishes his book having bought the publishing house, and he enjoys the company of beautiful women. But the hide continues to shrink!

He encounters a beautiful but aloof woman named Foedora, whom he fails to woo, leading him eventually to humiliate her, relying on a wish to get her to love him. Each wish shrinks the hide, and despite his efforts to stop making wishes, for various reasons he fails to do so.

Having acquired everything that he desired he starts to realise that these things are actually not really important or satisfying, and after a chance encounter with Pauline at the theatre he realises that she is the person who is the most important to him. But he has only one wish left and he must use it to save Pauline.




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