Imported 35mm Print
Fernand Ledoux, Robert Le Vigan, Blanchette Brunoy, Germaine Kerjean,
Thanks to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
Becker’s droll satire plays out on several uneasy social borders—between city and country folk, family and outside community, men and women. Filmed in stunning shadows, it is haunting in its mixture of lighthearted and gallows humor. A city slicker departs Paris for the wilds—that is, the provinces—and arrives in fear and trembling at the home of his country family, the eccentric Goupis. His arrival is easily eclipsed by the birth of a calf in the barn, and thus he enters a house empty save for a kitten . . . and a corpse. Bertrand Tavernier writes, “Goupi subverts, in a very subtle way, the theme of return to the land—a topic dear to the Vichy regime. . . . [It] shows the filmmaker’s incredible and extremely modern formal mastery of drama: no main hero but many characters . . . superb direction of actors, splendid camera work that is never too formal.”