Director: Alain Resnais
Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Boyer, François Périer
France, 1974, 120’, color
French with Turkish subtitles
While Stavisky documents the downfall of a con artist whose financial crimes brought France to the brink of fiscal and political ruin in the 1930s, the film also concerns itself with the ways in which nostalgia distorts an unknowable past. As envisioned by Resnais, Stavisky – played with charming magnetism by Jean-Paul Belmondo – whose decadent, unsustainable lifestyle mirrors the fatal joie de vivre of Europe between the wars. With a wonderful turn by Charles Boyer as an aristocrat dazzled by Stavisky’s glamour, a score by Stephen Sondheim and opulent Art Deco sets, Stavisky is one of Resnais’ most beautiful films, a meditation on history and our complex, mysterious relationship with the past.
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