THE FLESH OF THE ORCHID / La Chair de l’orchidée
Tuesday, April 24 – 1:30 pm – Renoir Theatre
International Premiere (restored film) | France, Italy, Germany | 1975 | Drama | 115 min | In French with English subtitles
Directed by: Patrice Chéreau
Written by: Patrice Chéreau, Jean-Claude Carrière
Based on a Novel by: James Hadley Chase
Cinematography: Pierre Lhomme
Film Editing: Pierre Gillette
Original Score: Fiorenzo Carpi
Produced by: Vincent Malle (VM Productions), Paris Cannes Productions
Cast: Charlotte Rampling (Claire), Bruno Cremer (Louis Delage), Edwige Feuillère (Madame Wegener), Simone Signoret (Lady Vamos)
International Sales: Tamasa Distribution
Imprisoned in a mental asylum by her greedy aunt, a young heiress escapes, only to meet up with another fugitive, who’s on the run from two contract killers. After a decade of groundbreaking theater work, Patrice Chéreau made his film directorial debut with this bleak, visually-stunning thriller, based on James Hadley Chase’s 1948 novel of the same name, his sequel to No Orchids from Miss Blandish. A powerful performance by Charlotte Rampling, a stunning cameo from Simone Signoret, the final screen appearance of the legendary Edwige Feuillère, and the magnificent rain-drenched cinematography of the great Pierre Lhomme grace this rare gem of a film… One that is far too rarely seen.
Patrice Chéreau | By the age of 15, Patrice Chéreau was already hailed as a theater prodigy, as actor, director and stage manager of his Paris high school theater. He dropped out of the Sorbonne and began working professionally by the time he was 19. A renowned opera and theater director, he has mounted productions at La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, the Paris Opera and at theater festivals the world over. He famously collaborated with Pierre Boulez, directing the centennial production of Richard Wagner’s opera, The Ring and the Nibelung, at the 1976 Bayreuth Festival. The Flesh of the Orchid (1975), his stunning film directorial debut, co-written with Jean-Claude Carriere, focused on a theme that was to recur over and over again in Chéreau’s work — that of loneliness and enforced solitude. Chéreau went on direct 14 more highly acclaimed films, co-writing many of them. His film credits include L’Homme Blessé (1984), which won the César Award for Best Original Screenplay. Queen Margot (1994) was honored with the Jury Prize and Best Actress Award (for Virna Lisi) at the Cannes Film Festival, then went on to nab five César Awards — for Best Actress (Isabelle Adjani), Supporting Actor (Jean-Hugues Anglade), Supporting Actress (Virna Lisi), Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design. Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train (1998) garnered a César Award for Best Director. Intimacy (2001) racked up four prizes at the Berlin Film Festival. One of his last films, Son Frère, had its World Premiere at COLCOA in 2003. Patrice Chéreau passed away — as was his custom, far too soon — at the age of 68, in 2013.
In Association with: Tamasa Distribution, Pyramide Productions.
Labels: COLCOA Classics, Not Recommended < 13