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Film Series : Marcel Pagnol: City and Country

The Water of the Hills

Jean de Florette

Jean de Florette

1986, Claude Berri, France, 120 min. With Yves Montand, Gérard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil.

Show Times

  • Fri, Feb 24th 2:00pm
  • Sat, Feb 25th 2:00pm
  • Mon, Feb 27th 6:00pm

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Manon of the Spring

Manon of the Spring

1986, Claude Berri, France, 113 min. With Yves Montand, Emmanuelle Béart, Daniel Auteuil.

Show Times

  • Fri, Feb 24th 4:15pm
  • Sat, Feb 25th 4:15pm
  • Wed, Mar 1st 6:00pm

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Pagnol directed an unsuccessful version of MANON OF THE SPRING in 1952, then turned it into a two-volume novel, with substantial additions and changes, under the collective title "L’Eau des collines" ("The Water of the Hills," 1963). In 1986, veteran director Berri (THE TWO OF US) filmed the two parts simultaneously. Released as JEAN DE FLORETTE and MANON OF THE SPRING, the films were an international triumph and stand as Berri’s greatest achievement.

Set in the gorgeously photographed Provençal countryside, JEAN DE FLORETTE (WATCH TRAILER) begins with two dreams that merge into a evil scheme. César (Montand, in his last great performance) is a crafty landowner who wants to carry on the family name through his only surviving relative — his nephew Ugolin (Auteuil, recipient of a César award for best supporting actor), a scrawny striver whose dream is to raise carnations. Carnations are profitable but need a lot of water — a problem that could be solved by a little-known spring on an adjoining plot of land. Unfortunately for them, that land has recently been inherited by Jean (Depardieu), a city-dweller who arrives with his wife and small daughter, bursting with idealistic plans to return to nature and raise rabbits through scientific means. Naïve but dogged, Jean struggles valiantly to succeed, but the machinations of the two schemers (who secretly block up the spring), the treacherous helping hand offered by Ugolin, the hostility of the locals toward outsiders, and Nature itself (in the form of a severe drought) conspire against him — all under the gaze of his watchful daughter, Manon…

MANON OF THE SPRING (WATCH TRAILER) takes up the story some ten years later, with grown-up Manon (Béart, recipient of a César award for best supporting actress), wild and beautiful, now one of the central characters. This second part is a tale of revenge, revelation, and cosmic payback about which it is best not to reveal too much. A model of superb, carefully constructed storytelling, the two films were co-scripted by frequent Roman Polanski collaborator Gerard Brach (REPULSION, THE TENANT), who no doubt helped to keep the edge in Pagnol’s rural tragedy. Make no mistake — this is not a exercise in cozy bucolic sentimentality. At its heart is a struggle over property and water as compellingly ruthless as that of CHINATOWN, with a comparably devastating ending. (MR)

TWO-FILM DISCOUNT!
Buy a ticket at our regular prices for JEAN DE FLORETTE and get a ticket for MANON OF THE SPRING at this discount rate with proof of your original purchase: General Admission $7; Students $5; and Members $4. (This discount rate applies to the second film only. Discount available in person at the box office only.)