Pleasure - Le plaisir (1952)

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Based on three short stories by Guy de Maupassant ?‘old stories of modern times’ according to the narrator- Pleasure is structured around three vignettes exploring the theme of pleasure and the nature of happiness. In the first part, an aging man hides his years behind a mask to seduce younger women. In the second part a brothel Madame takes her girls out to the countryside. The final part deals with the crumbling relationship between an artist and his muse. Once again, Ophüls’s fluid camera movements depict the very fluidity of emotions and the passage of time, while the director hints at the artificiality of creation itself by incorporating natural frames into elaborate baroque settings. After all, happiness is not necessarily something pleasant.

Director: Max Ophüls
Screenwriter: Jacques Natanson, Max Ophüls
Cinematography: Philippe Agostini, Christian Matras
Editor: Léonide Azar
Principal Cast: Claude Dauphin, Danielle Darrieux, Daniel Gélin, Simone Simon, Peter Ustinov (narration)

France, Β & W
French, 93’
Format: 35mm