Marguerite de la nuit
- 2h 5min
Based on novel by Pierre Dumarchais. The story of the aging pedant who sells his soul to Satan in exchange for youth and knowledge.Based on novel by Pierre Dumarchais. The story of the aging pedant who sells his soul to Satan in exchange for youth and knowledge.Based on novel by Pierre Dumarchais. The story of the aging pedant who sells his soul to Satan in exchange for youth and knowledge.
More than "la Main du Diable" or René Clair's overrated "la Beauté du Diable" ,"Marguerite" recalls Fritz Lang 's silent movie "Der Mude Tod";like the heroine of that movie who was in search of a person willing to die ,Marguerite is looking for someone who could replace Faust in the maleficent pact.Expressionism is the keyword anyway:the settings are thoroughly disturbing from these streets (with no names) to the white surrealist church (and its incredible Christ) and a lugubrious graveyard where the only thing you can see is crosses,black crosses,which seem to have been painted on the landscape.The sublime metaphor of the railway station in a dreamlike train climaxes the movie.As Morgan's tears begin to flow,you cannot help but think of Powell/Pressburger 's "a matter of life and death" (the rose sequence) Autant-Lara 's movie is not a Christian movie:if a miracle happens ,it's because of Marguerite's love ,a human true pure love.Autant-Lara in the forties and in the fifties was anticlerical to a fault(see "l'Auberge Rouge" "Douce" and "le Diable au Corps").The scene with the man who treats Marguerite like a prostitute -Leon suggests us that she probably was one anyway-is revealing "I'm a believer,he says ,and I 'm afraid of Hell" Although Autant-Lara refuses christianism and religion,unlike Luis Bunuel,he puts in his movies positive figures of priests and believers: in the sixties,the hero of "Tu ne tueras point" would refuse the draft because of his beliefs and the "Nazi" Brother of "Le Franciscain de Bourges" would be a saint.Here Massimo Girotti's priest -Marguerite's brother is almost an anomaly in the fifties world of Autant-Lara;but when he holds his sister tenderly in his arms ,he heralds those characters to come.
The film opens with the opera final which an old descendant of Doctor Faust attends.The film was a colossal flop ,and Autant-Lara quickly made "la Traversée de Paris" which gave him the audience's acclaim again.
- Dec 19, 2005