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A STRANGE AFFAIR

France, 1982 (MIFF 1982)

Director: Pierre Granier Deferre

Louis Coline is an employee in a large company. He does virtually no work. A new manager, Bertrand Malair, is appointed and an air of mystery develops about him and his two assistants.

Louis is fascinated by Malair; he is drawn under his spell increasingly as the days go by. Here an encouraging joke, there a demonstration of trust, being introduced to his friends — just what the young man always dreamt of. His dream becomes reality, he dives into it and is captured by it. It feels like the intoxication of power he believes to have got hold of at last and which makes him lose his head. This is where Malair's power lies; he loves you, he seduces you; but he takes it all away from you without giving you a thing. The moment he drops you, you are nobody. Pierre Granier-Deferre has made more than a dozen films, although he is known in Australia only for A Woman at her Window. In this film, he has produced a gripping melodrama about success and failure, the joy of being on the inside and the misery of exclusion. Michel Piccoli won the prize for Best Actor at the 1982 Berlin Festival for his role as the scheming manager, Bertrand Malair.

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