La Collectionneuse: Le Magnifique (w/ Jacqueline Bisset in person!)

Co-presented by the French Film and TV Office

With a set by DJ Mark Wright of Decadanse Soiree

What starts out as a colorful, absurdist espionage spoof is transmogrified into an engaging exploration of the creative psyche in this early-70s French “frame story” from frequent Jean-Paul Belmondo collaborator Philippe de Broca. Bob Saint-Clar (Belmondo) is a world-famous, flamboyant super spy going toe-to-toe with an evil super-villain for the hand of the beautiful Tatiana (Jacqueline Bisset). But Bob is really just the main character in a book being written by Francois Merlin (also played by Belmondo), a down-on-his-luck writer who’s populated his outrageous romp with characters almost directly from his real life, including his shy, beautiful neighbor (again, Bisset). Lively espionage action spills into his day-to-day life with a veritable Swiss army knife of metanarrative devices. Belmondo gives a stupendously hilarious performance, utilizing his trademark physical charisma and award-winning smile, in this story-within-a-story about the sublime ecstasies of identification.

Dir. Philippe de Broca, 1973, DCP, 95 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!