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Murmur of the Heart (Criterion Collection)

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Amazon.com: 20 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
the spectacle of childhood April 7 2006
By Stalwart Kreinblaster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Louis Malles' film 'murmur of the heart' dances accross the screen with so much vigor and and jazz that you don't know quite what hit you in the end..it is fabulous light-hearted and it dosen't care what people think.. that is why i like it. It is gorgeously filmed and the acting is quite good - but it is not a typical portrait of childhood - it contains both the things you would expect to see and also the unexpected - a great French film.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Louis Malle March 24 2013
By WillDecker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
All crimes in "Murmur of The Heart" go unpunished: Stealing, Pedophilia, Incest, Prostitution, Scout Tent /Sleeping Bag Sex, etc., etc., etc..... Not only unpunished but all with happy endings. Louis Malle you were a master at telling us that our Crime and Punishment world has got it all wrong.

I recommend "A Renegade History of The United States" by Thaddeus Russell for further understanding.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Heartfelt murmurs July 21 2012
By Dr René Codoni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Le souffle au coeur (Louis Malle, 1971, 118`)

Le souffle au coeur tells a coming of age story about a 14-year-old boy growing up in bourgeois surroundings in post-World War II Dijon. The film was a hit across Europe, gaining 2.7 million admissions in France alone, and was also a modest hit in the United States. The film starts by showing the adventures of the boy in school and his first sexual experience at a brothel. When the boy is found to have a heart murmur after a bout of scarlet fever, he goes with his mother (Lea Massari) to a sanatorium, where a series of events lead to a sexual encounter with his mother. Jazz music by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, along with books by Bataille, Proust and Camus, feature prominently in the film.

Louis Malle '(1932-1995) was an award-winning French film director, screenwriter, and producer. His film, Le monde du silence, won the Palme d'Or and Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1956. He was also nominated multiple times for Academy Awards later in his career. Malle was born into a wealthy industrialist family in Thumeries, Nord, France. He initially studied political science at the Sciences-Po before turning to film studies at IDHEC instead. He worked in both French cinema and Hollywood, and he produced both French and English language films.

His feature films were: Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (1958), Les Amants (1958), Zazie dans le métro (1960), Vie privée (1962), Le feu follet (1963), Viva Maria! (1965), Le voleur (1967), Histoires extraordinaires (1968), Le souffle au coeur (1971), Lacombe Lucien (1974), Black Moon (1975), Pretty Baby (1978), Atlantic City (1981), My Dinner with Andre (1981), Crackers (1984), Alamo Bay (1985), Au revoir, les enfants (1987), Milou en Mai (1989), Damage (1992), Vanya on 42nd Street (1994).

Malle is sometimes considered to be "nouvelle vague", though his work does not directly fit their auteurist theory and he had nothing to do with the Cahiers du Cinéma; yet, he exemplified many characteristics of the movement, including using natural light, and shooting on location. His film Zazie dans le métro, after Raymond Queneau's novel, made Truffaut write him an enthusiastic letter. Many of Malle's films also tackled taboo subjects: Les amants both adultery and nudity, Le feu follet suicide, Le souffle au coeur incest, and Lacombe Lucien collaboration with the Nazis in Vichy France during WWII.

In the case of Le souffle au coeur, apart from Malle's ease and elegance in dealing with censor-prone subjects, Lea Massari (the young woman Anna going missing in Antonioni's L'avventura) and pre-modern urban destruction Dijon are the true stars of the film: Mlle Massari by her warm personality and brilliant dynamics, the city of Dijon by its noble statics.

112us - Le souffle au coeur (Louis Malle, 1971, 118`) - 21/7/2012
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Very Modern Aug. 6 2008
By Catchafire - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film was made in the 70s and touches on so many topics that would have made it a banned film in the US. For it's time, it is a masterpiece and a great film altogether. It's very edgy, but what do you expect from a French film shot in the 70s?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
absolutely brilliant Nov. 15 2007
By EliteLamo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I really cant say much that the other reviewers haven't said already. Mr. Littrell said it best with this line: "Malle, more than almost any film maker I can think of, keeps sex in perspective and does not over react to sexual differences." I concur wholeheartedly. Sex, even taboo, never looked so inviting.

I saw it once when I was fourteen myself and then just recently I picked it up on sale used, and I cherish it now as much as I did as a youth. The strong, tender relationship that Benoit Ferreux and Lea Massari share on screen is simply ravishing, sensual, brilliant and stunning. Malle does such an exceptional job in creating this funny, but believable world. The relationship reminds me somewhat of Marcel's with his mother in Yves Robert's 'My Father's Glory' and 'My Mother's Castle', another French masterpiece.

Lea Massari simply steals the show with sexy, sultry and tender scenes.

One of my favorite films of all time.