(Julien Duvivier, 1937).
The great international hit of late ’30s French cinema: Mixing exotic atmosphere with colonial fantasy and a pre-WW II sense of doom, the tale of a trapped gangster and slumming playgirl who find love in the Arab quarter of Algiers is best enjoyed for its casual surrealism—epitomized by the scene in which Jean Gabin prepares crash out, the Casbah melting behind him like a dream, as he hurries toward a fate at once romantic and existential.
Sat., May 16, 1:30 p.m.; Mon., May 18, 8 p.m., 2009
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