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Garrel: Le Lit de La Vierge

by Philippe Garrel

Year: 1969, 114 mins
Code: RV-Garrel

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"I believe my point of view on the Christian myth is quite clear in Le Lit de la Verge. It is a non-violent parable in which Zouzou incarnates both Mary and Mary Magdalene while Pierre Clementi incarnates a discouraged Christ who throws down his arms in face of world cruelty. In spite of its allegorical nature, the film contains a denunciation of the police repression of 1968, which was generally well understood by viewers at the time." Philippe Garrel

In French, with optional English, German, Spanish and Italian subtitles, B&W
Includes a 36-page bilingual booklet about the film by Philippe Azoury. In French and English.

“Born in 1948, Philippe Garrel was the wunderkind of French cinema in the 1960s. His fifth feature, LE LIT DE LA VIERGE, is a parable about Jesus set in modern times. Shot in the aftermath of the uprisings of May 1968, the film reverberates with the rebellious spirit of that period. Pierre Clémenti plays a Christ reluctant to assume his earthly mission, while the Virgin Mary (Zouzou, doubly cast as Mary Magdalene) attempts to reconcile him with his duty.

Garrel invokes the Christian narrative only to reject a strict retelling in a chronicle that is episodic and nonlinear. In naming his characters Mary and Jesus, Garrel reminds us of the contestatory attitude of the ’68 generation, for whom Jesus was a hippie avant la lettre. Made without a script and under the influence of LSD, LE LIT DE LA VIERGE is minimally concerned with traditional religion. It does, however, suggest the ways in which Garrel and his friends saw themselves as belonging to a kind of religious sect, engaging in ritual behavior.” —David Pendleton, Harvard Film Archive

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