Scene of the Crime

Friday, May 8 - Sunday, May 10, 2015

30th anniversary! DCP projection

“Andre Techine’s elegant thriller SCENE OF THE CRIME is alive with danger and sexual possibility, in a manner reminiscent of Claude Chabrol. Though its setting is rural, it is never bucolic, not for a moment. The film begins as a young boy takes a bicycle ride, and no sooner has he stopped to pick a flower – a sprig of oleander, which is poisonous – than he is accosted by a stranger. The man has no money, and he orders the boy to get him some and return with it by nightfall. The boy is too frightened not to do as he is told.

“From this beginning, Mr. Techine sets in motion a suspenseful and at several points genuinely shocking series of events. They involve the boy’s family life as much as they involve the man in the forest – and, as the drama progresses, they bring these elements irrevocably together. Mr. Techine is able to rotate the various elements of the film’s psychological puzzle with exceptional poise.

“The boy, Thomas (Nicholas Giraudi), lives with his mother (Catherine Deneuve) and grandmother (Danielle Darrieux) in a household where the balance of power is constantly shifting. Thomas’s father, Maurice (Victor Lanoux), who is separated from the boy’s mother, also lives nearby. It is gradually revealed that the mother, Lili, needed to escape the stifling effects of her union with Maurice, though he continues to want her. Lili now runs a nightclub that is situated on a lake, perched just at the water’s edge.

“SCENE OF THE CRIME, which has been handsomely photographed by Pascal Marti, is essentially about Lili, and about the deepest aspects of her love for her son. It is the occasion for another subtle, superbly controlled performance from Miss Deneuve, who is becoming a more and more resourceful actress as she grows older. Miss Deneuve begins the film with the dulled, dutiful look of a woman whose life holds no surprises, and she dresses in provincial clothing that makes her look as plain as possible (that isn’t very plain). But as the film progresses, and her life is thrown into turmoil, she begins to come alive. Through the course of the ordeal she suffers during the story, she takes on a harried, desperate look that actually make her more beautiful.” – The New York Times

  • Country France
  • Rating NR
  • Year 1985
  • Running Time 91 minutes
  • Director Andre Techine