LE PAYS SAN ETOILES (1946)
aka Country Without Stars
Article 3105 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-23-2009
Posting Date: 2-13-2010
Directed by Georges Lacombe
Featuring Jany Holt, Gerard Philipe, Pierre Brasseur
What it is: Somewhat eerie meditation on fate
A man undergoes a strange case of deja vu when he visits a village. He soon finds himself living the life of a man who lived there many years ago.
I got most of my plot description from other sources, as my print of the movie is in unsubtitled French. When I researched this for my list of movies I was then unable to find, I summarized it as a man who lives the life of someone from long ago. This is the type of concept that demands expository dialogue, and, sure enough, this movie has a lot of talk. It’s got some eerie moments and memorable scenes (one in which a woman goes crazy and attacks a painting is quite memorable), and I am able to piece together bits and pieces about how the lives of three people from the present replay the lives of three people from the past, but the main plot threads and the revelations are all dialogue-driven. If I hadn’t known about the basic plot ahead of time, the only fantastic content I would have noticed would consist of the appearance of a ghost at one key moment. Though I suspect the movie is pretty uneven, I do hope to see a subtitled copy some day. For one thing, I’d love to know why the musical score seems to go wild in scenes that often seem rather quiet.