Charles Bronson in RIDER ON THE RAIN Part of The 12th Annual Robert Classic French Film Festival – Runs Virtually From July 17th – 23rd
“Americans live on ketchup and milk. I’m a whiz at geography.”
Cinema St. Louis’ 12th Annual Robert Classic French Film Festivalruns July 17-23, 2020. Individual tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for Cinema St. Louis members and students with valid and current photo IDs. All-access passes are available for $25, $20 for CSL members. Ticket and Pass Purchaseinformation can be found HERE. Regrettably, streaming rights to most of the films Cinema St. Louis planned to feature at the 2020 Robert Classic French Film Festival were not available to them. But they are pleased that they’re able to offer a trio of works from the original lineup: Marguerite Duras’ rarely seen “India Song”; a new restoration of Jacqueline Audry’s “Olivia”; and René Clément’s “Rider on the Rain,” which is part of their year-long Golden Anniversaries programming that features films from 1970. All films are in French with English subtitles.
Tom Stockman, editor of the We Are Movie Geeks website. will be hosting the 1970 thriller RIDER ON THE RAIN
In the 1970 French noir RIDER ON THE RAIN from director René Clément, Charles Bronson played Harry Dobbs, an undercover US Army Colonel in France trying to track down an escaped sex maniac. Marlene Jobert played a rape victim who manages to kill her attacker and, in a panic, disposes of the corpse. What follows is a tense cat-and-mouse scenario between these two full of humor and style. Wearing a mischievous smile throughout RIDER ON THE RAIN, Bronson manages an odd suggestion of sadism and romance, a mysterious figure that enhances the mystery. A suspenser in the Hitchcock mold, RIDER ON THE RAIN won the Golden Globe award in 1970 as Best Foreign Film and was an breakthrough film in Charles Bronson’s career – it was a enormous success all over the world (except the U.S.) and was his first hit where he carried the lead after gaining fame in the ensemble action films. In the French language version of RIDER ON THE RAIN, Bronson’s voice is dubbed while in the English version, everyone’s voice except Bronson’s is dubbed. I prefer the English version. Note the American RIDER ON THE RAIN movie poster with a shirtless Bronson manhandling Ms Jobert. It’s one of my very favorite Bronson posters even though there’s no scene in the movie remotely like it. Artist Basil Gogos, best known for his many covers of ‘Famous Monsters of Filmland’ magazine, did this painting. I had Gogos autograph my poster and he recalled that Bronson refused to sign off on the image until he went back in and added more veins in his muscles.
René Clément — the legendary director of “Forbidden Games” and “Purple Noon” — delivers a stylish thriller starring screen legend Charles Bronson. When a beautiful young woman (Marlène Jobert) in the South of France is stalked and then assaulted by a mysterious masked assailant, she kills the man in self-defense and, in a moment of misjudgment, dumps his corpse over a cliff into the sea instead of calling the police. Trying to return to her life before the attack, her world is turned upside down when an American investigator (Bronson) shows up and, to her horror, seems to know everything about what she has done. “Rider on the Rain” is presented in the 118-minute French-language cut. With an introduction and post-film discussion by Tom Stockman, editor of the We Are Movie Geeks website.
The other film in the Classic French Film Festival are:
Jacqueline Audry, 1951, 96 min., B&W, new restoration
A remarkable work by Jacqueline Audry (1908-77), one of France’s groundbreaking female filmmakers, “Olivia” deserves rediscovery after being neglected for almost 70 years. Plunging the viewer — and the main character — into a true lion’s den, Audry depicts a 19th-century boarding school for young girls. The two mistresses of the house, Miss Julie (Edwige Feuillere) and Miss Cara (Simone Simon), are engaged in a turf war — and a war of the heart. Competing for the affections of their students, they rouse passion, hatred, and unexpected reversals of loyalties. Although “Olivia” does not address female homosexuality directly, the film sensitively explores the students’ discovery of love and attraction. With an introduction and post-film discussion by Cait Lore, film critic for Cinema St. Louis’ The Lens.
Marguerite Duras, 1975, 120 min., color
Associated with both the nouveau roman literary and the Left Bank film movements, Marguerite Duras was a versatile polymath who worked as a novelist, playwright, essayist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and film director. From a cinematic perspective, Duras’ best-known work is her screenplay for Alain Resnais’ “Hiroshima, mon amour,” but she also directed more than a dozen of her own features. Because Duras’ films remain difficult to access in the U.S., the Classic French Film Festival is especially pleased to offer what many consider her masterpiece, “India Song.” Based on an unproduced play that adapted her novel “Le Vice-consul,” the film chronicles the discontent of the wife (Delphine Seyrig) of the French ambassador in 1930s India. Bored with her oppressive lifestyle, she compulsively sleeps with a series of men but refuses the advances of the entranced vice-consul of Lahore (Michael Lonsdale). With an introduction and post-film discussion by Jean-Louis Pautrot, professor of French and international studies at Saint Louis University.