La Comédie-Française is the oldest continuous repertory company in the world, founded in Paris in the late 17th century. This is the first time a documentary film-maker has been allowed to look at all the aspects of the work of this great theatrical company. Sequences in the film include sections of plays, casting, set and costume design, administrative meetings and rehearsals and performances of four classic French plays, Don Juan by Molière, La Thebaide by Racine, La Double Inconstance by Marivaux and Occupe-toi d'Amelie by Feydeau.
LA COMÉDIE-FRANÇAISE is a multifaceted exploration of the art and commerce of theater…What emerges from this epic work of nonfiction is a rare glimpse into what makes theater theater and what makes film, in the right hands, an art.
–Michael Blowen, Boston Globe
This film is about a culture that takes serious culture very seriously… Ever the master documentary maker, Wiseman, brings home his points without saying a word.
–Laurie Winters, L.A. Times
At various points the viewer might be standing in line to buy tickets, watching a seamstress working on costumes and wigs, viewing a set being erected or listening to an erudite discussion by actors and their director about what Marivaux intended in his play ‘La Double Inconstance,’ one of four seen in rehearsal (Moliere, Racine and Feydeau are also represented.). During the easily flowing three hours, the viewer can also drop in on administrative meetings, listen to budget woes and hear an actress eloquently plead for financial aid for retirees. One of the fun highlights: a 100th birthday party for a retired actress who calls the Comédie-Française ‘a religion.’ I call it a wonderful, exciting, thoroughly enlightening place to visit for a few wonderful hours of television. This is indeed, a Wiseman winner!
–Kay Gardella, New York Daily News
Educationalincludes public performance rights
released 1996, 223 minutes
LA COMÉDIE-FRANÇAISE OU L'AMOUR JOUÉ is available in French with English subtitles.
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