The Crime of Monsieur Lange
(Le crime de M. Lange)
(The crime of M. Lange)
New Digital Restoration. Film to Table dinner follows the January 13 screening
René Lefèvre, Jules Berry, Odette Florelle, Jacques Brunius,
On January 13, enjoy a Film to Table dinner at Babette, the cafe at BAMPFA. Join an intimate group of fellow filmgoers for a four-course, prix-fixe meal in a convivial, dinner-party atmosphere. Purchase dinner tickets in advance at babettecafe.com (film tickets must be purchased separately).
“Of all Renoir’s films, M. Lange is the most spontaneous, the richest in miracles of camerawork, the most full of pure beauty and truth. In short, it is a film touched by divine grace” (François Truffaut). After a venal, sexually predatory publisher (Jules Berry) disappears, his employees decide to collectivize, building community and commercial success around the pulp Western stories of nebbishy dreamer Amédée Lange (René Lefèvre). When love and livelihood are threatened, mild Monsieur Lange defends them by any means necessary. “I found myself engagé without having meant to be,” Renoir said of his leftist allegiances in the 1930s; his film similarly engages us lightly but sincerely, finding a kind of Popular Front utopia in a shabby courtyard alive with neighborly banter, flirtation, and song. This restoration showcases Jean Bachelet’s startlingly agile camerawork, and new subtitles capture the tumbling wit of the script, cowritten by Jacques Prévert.