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TWO ENGLISH GIRLS: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
At the beginning of the 20th century, young Frenchman Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud) meets the lovely English artist Ann (Kika Markham), who persuades him to come home with her to Wales to meet her sister Muriel (Stacey Tendeter). The three of them become great friends but when Antoine decides he has feelings for Muriel, their respective mothers decide they should spend a year apart to determine whether they are serious about each other. A year later they meet again, but not before Antoine has already become intimate with Ann.

Review by Louise Keller:
The pace is leisurely in this bi-coastal love triangle and coming of age story from Francois Truffaut. In keeping with the corseted restraint of the era, the love story between the Frenchman Antoine (Jean-Pierre Leaud) and the two English girls (Kika Markham and Stacey Tendeter) is remote, yet emotionally claustrophobic. As if to emphasise this even further, Truffaut uses Antoine's narration as our guide, which keeps us at arm's lengths, and never allowing us to get too close to the characters. Beautifully shot with stunning locations on the hills of Wales, there's s tranquillity about the film in which passion and emotions are kept as an undercurrent.

Their mothers had been childhood friends, so it seems natural that Antoine goes to Wales to visit Ann and her sister Muriel. The scenery is gorgeous: plush green countryside by the sea's edge. But the focus is on the girls and their relationship to Antoine. When Antoine finally meets Muriel with her red hair and low husky voice, he is bewitched. The three of them have a brother/sister relationship and are comfortable together; they read books, play charades, take walks, ride bikes and play silly games. They talk about spiritual and physical love ('I can't chose between vice and virtue,' says Muriel 'When I only know virtue.') When Antoine finally is prompted to declare his feelings for Muriel, everything changes. Pressured by their respective mothers, they agree to separate for 12 months when they can re-evaluate their relationship.

The passion of the relationships is always kept under the surface. When Ann and Antoine meet, they easily fall into an affair, but the focus remains on the future that Antoine will or will not have with Muriel. Truffaut allows us to know the characters from a distance, which makes the eventual sexual encounters far more erotic.

Published June 19, 2008

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

The Woman Next Door
The Soft Skin
Jules and Jim

TWO ENGLISH GIRLS: DVD (M)
(France, 1971)

CAST: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Kika Markham, Stacey Tendeter, Sylvia Marriott, Marie Mansart, Philippe Léotard, Irène Tunc, Mark Peterson

DIRECTOR: François Truffaut

SCRIPT: François Truffaut , Henri-Pierre Roché (novel)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Néstor Almendros

EDITOR: Martine Barraqué, Yann Dedet

MUSIC: Georges Delerue

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Michel de Broin

RUNNING TIME: 130 minutes

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: Filming Two English Girls; Truffaut interviewed by France Roche; trailers

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella

DVD RELEASE: May 31, 2008







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