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3 December 2023: Marianne of My Youth


Marianne of My Youth
Julien Duvivier, 1955, 105 min

Introduced by Ranjit S. Ruprai and followed by discussion with film critic Phuong Le

On 25 March 1954, Peter de Mendelssohn received an unexpected telephone call from Paris to his home in Wimbledon. Mendelssohn had been living in Britain since 1936 after leaving Germany a few years earlier, but he had moved on from writing novels and become a publicist and journalist. He was surprised to hear that Julien Duvivier wanted the film rights to his 1932 book Painful Arcadia: “This doesn’t have the makings of a film, I said. No-one could make a film with that. Not even Julien Duvivier. It’s a daydream, with no real plot. The events are barely suggested... You don’t make a film with children’s dreams.” Yet Duvivier, aided by his assistant director Marcel Ophüls, conjure up a cinematic reverie. The resulting Marianne of My Youth (Marianne de ma jeunesse) is a wonderful dream set in Bavarian forests and castles about a supernatural love seemingly doomed but ultimately hopeful.

Showing as part of Supakino's Take Two: Marianne de ma jeunesse / Madhumati