The Duchesse De Langeais
Product Details. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. The Chouans. The Chouans, the first volume in Balzac's magnificent novel sequence La Comedie Humaine, is the tale of the Royalist uprising in Brittany against the post-revolutionary republic.
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Balzac tells it romantically and with passion. Yet his keen eye for documentary detail, View Product.
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Joe Sullivan has taken the rap for Rick who double-crosses him with a flawed escape plan and other means intended to get rid of him. An engaged but apolitical nurse gets involved in a far-right political party. Based on numerous recent events in France, it becomes about how Front National operates and how it is perceived by the French. The novella this film was based on was written by Balzac in the s as part of a group of novels detailing the adventures of a secret society of 13 men "Les Treize" , of whom Armand is a member.
This slightly sinister society was bent on acquiring power at all cost and by all means. It can be understood that Armand's forceful quest to conquer Antoinette is part of that fascistic scheme. Armand resents Antoinette as much as he "loves" her because 1 she is "just a woman", 2 she thinks she is somewhat superior to him socially, 3 she refuses his advances and 4 she is highly desirable socially as well as sexually. Balzac also portrayed Antoinette as a caricature of a real-life socialite, the Duchesse de Castries, who had spurned his attentions.
Antoinette is, after all, a "castrating" coquette who deserves the "axe" that rids the world of aristocrats of her kind.
Duchesse Langeais by Honore Balzac
What XXth Century playwright Jean Giraudoux did with this unsavoury hodge-podge is something else entirely. While remaining faithful to the sequence of events — including the very much contrived central plot point of a maliciously-substituted letter, Giraudoux makes his characters utter speeches that still resonate with contemporary audiences about the nature of love, fidelity, possession, domination, sex, idealism and transcendence.
Antoinette, before dying in a spiritual blaze, in the Spanish convent to which she has retired rather than being humiliated further, discovers another facet of love - self-sacrifice - that women know about when men seldom do. This "Duchesse de Langeais" can be seen as the prequel to Giraudoux's "Madwoman of Chaillot", whose film adaptation is arguably the last "serious" film on the subject of love of the XXth century. Greta Garbo supposedly considered this script a proper vehicle for a comeback in with James Mason as Armand.
The project never materialized. The highly improbable subject of this film allowed it to escape censorship under Nazi occupation — although aspects of Armand's and Antoinette's husband's character can be seen as "fascistic" and Antoinette's "resistance" to those fascist forces "heroic".
It remains, like the novella itself, and in spite of itself, the epitome of the depiction of Romantic love as an otherworldly concept rooted in human sexuality. The film is an impressive accomplishment in terms of sets, costumes, art and musical direction, photography, writing, acting and direction. Those of you who have the stomach to tackle a more faithful - but terminally boring - adaptation of Balzac's rather carnal, sado-masochistic and class-conscious original may want to see "Ne touchez pas la hache" Don't touch the axe - Balzac's original title , which Jacques Rivette directed in Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.
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