Death in a French Garden

A couple of evenings ago I re watched Michael Deville’s stylised film on a VHS tape I recorded years ago from the TV. I first saw it in the 1980s in the now defunct Hull Screen. It introduced me to the work of the controversial Polish-Swiss painter Balthus; one of his works, The Street, was, is, one of the inspirations for my street photography.

The Street can be seen here.

The younger wife of a rather sadistic industrialist traps the young guitar teacher hired for their teenage daughter, Vivianne,  in her amorous web to get rid of her husband. A contract killer befriends David, the teacher (the magnus opus of his father was to perfect a bomb), through a kind of surreal conversations between them we learn that he has been hired to kill an industrialist, who happens to be Vivianne’s father (Michel Piccoli), and steal a microfilm hidden in a globe. I found then, and now, the end quite surprising, as David, now rich as he collected the reward of the killing, flies away with Vivianne. Visually a very compelling film, the sensuality of the love scenes being was would be expected from a French film…

More information about Death in a French Garden at IMDb.