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A suicidal, alcoholic playboy makes his final rounds of friends, family and lovers in Louis Malle's masterful adaptation of the famous novel by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle.
"Malle's first masterpiece . . . one of his finest films" according to Malle authority Philip French, Le Feu follet becomes imperative viewing this summer, as it is also the source for last year's superb Oslo, August 31st. Malle's adaptation of the novel by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle chronicles the last hours in the life of an alcoholic playboy (Maurice Ronet) who, feeling that his life has no meaning, decides to visit his friends in Paris — including the lovely Eva, played by Jeanne Moreau — one last time. In love with death, he moves, as in slow motion, towards his own demise. Critics have discerned in Le Feu follet influences ranging from Bresson's Diary of a Country Priest to Fellini's La Dolce Vita, but the film has a truly original style; said Jean Genet, "Malle has effected something phenomenal, having turned literature into film, photographed the meaning of an unsubstantial, touching and rather famous book, and given its tragic intention a clarity it never achieved in print." "Arguably the finest of Malle's early films... a small gem, polished to perfection" (Geoff Andrew, Time Out).