Au Bonheur Des Dames film still

Au Bonheur des Dames (PG)

France, 1930, Dir. Julien Duvivier

Festival of the Future City/
Sat 26 October 2019

Au Bonheur des Dames (PG)

France, 1930, Dir. Julien Duvivier

Au Bonheur Des Dames film still
Sat 26 October 2019,

‘The big department store versus the little shop, a problem that still exists today; a cruel unfair struggle…’

Set within the glamorous world of a Parisian department store, Julien Duvivier’s long-forgotten masterpiece was one of the last silent films to be made in France and is ripe for rediscovery thanks to this brand new restoration by Lobster Films, Paris.

Dita Parlo, a German actress who later appeared in Jean Vigo’s L’Atalante (1934) and Jean Renoir’s The Grand Illusion (1937), plays a wide-eyed innocent from the country who is relocated to the city of lights and is lured away from her uncle’s small shop by the richness of the department store. While Duvivier’s film celebrates the richness of Parisian life, it is, at the same time, a damning portrait of rampant consumerism and the demise of small, local shops.

Directed by the iconic director of future celebrated French classics such as La belle équipe (1936), Pépé le Moko (1936) and Un carnet de bal (1937), Julien Duvivier’s breath-taking Au Bonheur des Dames will leave you laughing, crying and asking for more.

Live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne. With thanks to Lobster Films, Paris.

This film is part of Festival of the Future City – an initiative of Festival of Ideas. Festival of the Future City takes place every two years in Bristol celebrating and debating the future of cities with talks, walks, debates, arts projects and new books. The 2019 Festival of the Future City includes classic utopian films about cities; cities in silent cinema; documentaries on New Towns, democracy, the housing crisis and the anthropocene in the series: Cities, Future Cities and Film. We are grateful to BFI for their support for this programme. See the rest of the Festival of the Future City film programme here.

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Further details of the 2019 Festival of the Future City programme are here.

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