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DEEP WATER

France, 1981 (MIFF 1982)

Director: Michel Deville

The most insane proof of love a man can give his wife is to 'get rid' of her lovers. In front of everyone, Vic (Jean-Louis Trintignant) puts up with the amorous games of Melanie (Isabelle Huppert). His attitude is always generosity mixed with irony. But as soon as he feels that Melanie is becoming attached and that he might lose her, he manages to remove the danger, once and for all — without being seen. Because of his social position, his very generosity and obvious integrity, it is impossible to actually accuse him, despite ever-increasing suspicion. Melanie senses, guesses, rebels and finally has proof that Vic is a murderer, but only out of love for her. And how can anyone reject such extreme love?

Michel Deville is one of France's established directors. After an apprenticeship as an assistant director, he started directing about the same time as the 'New Wave' directors. His work, however, belongs to 'the older' French tradition of quality, of Marcel Carne and Claude Autant-Lara.

Deep Water is taken from a Patricia Highsmith novel. Highsmith has fascinated European directors, and Wim Wenders, Claude Miller, Hans Geissendorfer and Rene Clement have al! made films from her work, as has Alfred Hitchcock. Deville's version is stylishly filmed and features fine performances from Trintignant and Huppert in the lead roles.

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