Such a Pretty Little Beach
(Une si jolie petite plage)
Edith Kramer was assistant film curator at the Pacific Film Archive between 1975 and 1980 and served as acting director in 1980. She returned in 1983 as senior film curator and director, a position she held until her retirement in 2005.
Jean-Pierre Gorin is a French filmmaker and professor with a long association with UC San Diego.
Gérard Philipe, Madeleine Robinson, Jean Servais, Jane Marken,
Set within the confines of an off-season inn and a nearby beach, cut off from the world by rain and cold, Such a Pretty Little Beach is a masterwork in the best film noir tradition: it grips by the sheer cohesion of its construction. Gérard Philipe evokes a remarkable tension between suspicion and sympathy as a melancholy young man who becomes a curiosity to the inn’s residents and regular guests (characters who are curious enough in themselves). The narrative takes place in several time zones while never leaving the “present.” Sans flashbacks or monologues, the story unfolds: the young man’s childhood as a public assistance ward at this very inn, his mysterious involvement with a famous actress, and the psychological implications of his return to the site of his youth. Yves Allégret’s noirs recall the mood of poetic fatalism of the late 1930s, but he avoids all arty flourishes and eccentricities in pitilessly revealing the dark side of human behavior. Many critics consider this rarely shown film to be his best.
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