French label Gaumont has revealed that it is planning to add four titles to its 'Classiques Collection': Yves Robert's Alexandre le bienheureux (1968), Gérard Oury's The Brain (1969), Luchino Visconti's Conversation Piece (1974), and Michelangelo Antonioni's Identification of a Woman (1982).
Alexandre, a young and honest farmer, is oppressed by an authoritarian wife, who makes him work like a dog. When she dies in a car crash, he decides to stay in bed, absolutely free and inactive. Just a dog is occupied to carry food and newspapers to him. Starring Philippe Noiret, Françoise Brion and Marlène Jobert. Street date: April 10th.
A tongue-in-cheek caper film with more twists and turns than a rural Oregon highway. David Niven plays The Brain, so named because it was he who mapped out the British Great Train Robbery. Now The Brain plans to lift a fortune in NATO money, which is being shipped by train from France to Belgium. Complicating matters are a pair of free-lance thugs (Jean-Paul Belmondo and Bourvil), who hope to steal The Brain's plans and claim the money for themselves. A plot device derived from The Lavender Hill Mob involves a 50-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty. An amusing closing-credits bit caps this exhilarating exercise. Street date: April 10th.
Luchino Visconti's award-winning classic examines the solitary life of a retired American professor (Burt Lancaster) who lives alone in a luxurious plazzo in Rome. When he is confronted by a vulgar Italian marchesa and her companions - her lover, her daughter and daughter's boyfriend - he is forced to rent them an apartment on the upper floor of his palazzo. Before long his quiet routine is turned upside down and the introverted professor becomes entangled in his tenants' machinations. In the midst of this chaos each of the new neighbors' lives - including that of the professor himself - takes an unexpected but inevitable turn. Visconti's penultimate film, Conversation Piece marks the culmination of his career as a master of Italian cinema. Street date: May 22.
Michelangelo Antonioni's Identification of a Woman is a body- and soul-baring voyage into one man's artistic and erotic consciousness. After his wife leaves him, a film director finds himself drawn into affairs with two enigmatic women, while at the same time searching for the right subject (and actress) for his next film. This spellbinding anti-romance was a late-career coup for the legendary Italian filmmaker, and is renowned for its sexual explicitness and an extended scene on a fog-enshrouded highway that stands with the director's greatest set pieces. Street date: May 22.