Film Series: ‘The Ladies’ Paradise’ (Au bonheur des dames) June 13

| June 10, 2013

The Webster University Film Series and the Centre Francophone present a restoration of the 1930’s silent film, The Ladies’ Paradise (Au bonheur des dames), with live accompaniment by the Poor People of Paris, on Thursday, June 13, at 7 p.m. in the Moore Auditorium. Admission is $4 for Webster faculty and staff and free for students with current Webster ID.

“Au bonheur des dames”

THE LADIES’ PARADISE (Au bonheur des dames)
Julien Duvivier (85 min.)
Duvivier’s final silent film is a modern retelling of Emile Zola’s panoramic chronicle of mid-19th-century Parisian society, centering on a small fabric shop struggling to survive in the shadow of a luxury department store.

With expressionistic shades of Erich von Stroheim and G.W. Pabst, the film captures the rhythms of urban life and creates a stinging portrait of capitalist ruthlessness, class tensions and sexual competition.

Scott Foundas in the Village Voice calls the film “an orgy of pure cinema, from its opening train shot to its climactic visual effect of a magically converted storefront. Filming on the teeming streets of Paris in and around the Galeries Lafayette, Duvivier pulls out every trick in the book – elaborate crane and tracking shots; massive crowd scenes; surreal, constructivist montages – for this alternately sincere and cynical hymn to capitalist endeavor.”

Elsie Parker and the Poor People of Paris, who specialize in French popular music and jazz, provide accompaniment.

There will be an introduction and discussion led by Lionel Cuillé, the Jane and Bruce Robert Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Webster University.

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