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When You Read This Letter (Quand tu liras cette lettre…)

July 9 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

 |  $12.50


July 9
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
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Dismissed by Melville in its time as “a very conventional, very sensible film” made in part to fund his film studio, When You Read This Letter is a slightly uncharacteristic but nevertheless fascinating swerve in the director’s early career into the realm of melodrama. On a tonal spectrum opposite the laconic moodiness of something like Le samouraïLetter is a film of emotional and stylistic excess, using a luminously shot French Riviera as a grandiose backdrop to the sensationalized tale of a nun-in-training, Thérèse (Juliette Gréco), who must abandon the convent in favor of the seaside nightlife district when family tragedy strikes. Now caring for her younger sister Denise (Irène Galter) and overseeing their inherited stationery business, Thérèse must soon contend with the menacing womanizer Max Trivet (Philippe Lemaire), who becomes a gravitational force of malign influence around the women despite a certain roguish charm. The incident-rich narrative is grounded by the steely reserve of Gréco in a breakout role; her character’s battle to retain her dignity in the face of so much upheaval marks her with an existential clarity worthy of Melville’s more renowned male heroes.