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Loulou (18)

After the Wave: Young French Cinema in the 1970s

Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert

A young Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert burn up the screen in this story of class- and culture-defying passion.

Huppert is Nelly, a married, upper-middle-class accountant; Depardieu is Loulou, a working-class lout who catches her eye at a disco. She dances with him, leaves with him, stays with him. “What’s he got?” grumbles her husband. “He never stops,” she replies bluntly.

Director Maurice Pialat was the son of a lorry driver. In his work, he drew extensively on his own lived experience; his films are grounded in working-class reality and feature a constellation of protagonists pursuing often contradictory and self-destructive needs and desires. This film is one of two he made concerned explicitly with female desire; though it’s his name in the title, Loulou here is object not subject, and sex is a force that shatters class allegiances.

Tagged with: Cinema After the Wave

France, 1980, Dir. Maurice Pialat, 101 min, 35mm presentation

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