Barocco


1h 48m 1976

Brief Synopsis

The story of Barocco is about a girl (Adjani) that is in love with a boxer (Depardieu). They plan to went abroad after making a lot of money by cheating in a match. But the boxer is killed before, and the killer (Depardieu), little by little, fall in love with the girl (Adjani) that accept him finally at the condition that he looks like the boxer he killed.

Film Details

Also Known As
Barroco
Release Date
1976

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 48m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)

Synopsis

A crook murders his double and takes his place and his girlfriend. Together, they blackmail a politician and escape with the money to start a new life.

Film Details

Also Known As
Barroco
Release Date
1976

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 48m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)

Articles

Barocco


The early works of director Andre Techine - who wrote film criticism for the legendary New Wave journal Cahiers du Cinema in the mid-1960s - are so steeped in movie history, he might be considered a French cousin to the cinematically over-reflexive American, Brian DePalma. Techine, more so than DePalma, has managed to break the chains of his movie obsessions over years, with such pictures as Hotel des Ameriques (1981) and My Favorite Season (1993) relying on carefully-drawn characters and realistic passions rather than nods to other filmmakers. But his 1977 feature, Barocco, which has been released on DVD by Pathfinder Home Entertainment, is a sexy thriller that's two parts film noir to one part Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. As much as anything else, it's a movie about movies.

By definition, there are a lot of conventional gestures in Barocco, but you have to hand it to Techine for being perverse enough to replace Kim Novak with Gerard Depardieu! In the early scenes, Depardieu (far more athletic-looking than he is these days) plays Samson, a boxer who agrees to carry out a mob-devised blackmail scheme at the behest of his prostitute girlfriend, Laure (Isabelle Adjani.) Samson accepts a wad of cash to pretend that he's the homosexual lover of a politician who's running for re-election, but he's murdered by the blackmailers when he backs out on the deal.

Then, in a twist that works only if you keep telling yourself you're watching a movie, Laure hides the money and is tracked down by Samson's killer...who looks exactly like his victim. That's right- Depardieu plays both men, not that anybody but Adjani notices the resemblance. Laure refuses to reveal where she stashed the money, and the killer soon finds himself being hidden by her when his mob buddies come looking for him. Hitchcock fans won't be surprised when Laure starts re-inventing the killer in her dead boyfriend's image. And you can be sure that Techine wants it that way.

Techine may have been playing with movie conventions, but in later years, he admitted that he always aims for more than that in his films. "The cinema is something I view as popular," he once said, "but it has to have an artistic foundation or backbone or motivation....Life is conflict. And it is only when we are dead that conflict ceases. What I am interested in is showing people who are absolutely alive and therefore in conflict. In conflict with their society, with their times, and even their own family. And if there is no conflict, there cannot be a story. Happiness need not be told." Techine must have been satisfied with Barocco: Both the dead and the living get their due, it's loaded to the gills with conflict, and it doesn't exactly ooze happiness.

Pathfinder's widescreen transfer is ok but could be better in the darker scenes, which have a lot of grain and flutter. They've included a trailer, a gallery of stills, and some fairly enlightening commentary by film critics Andy Klein and Wade Major. Too bad Techine didn't get an audio track. It would have been fun to hear the former critic critique his own film, especially 25 years down the road.

For more information about Barocco, visit Pathfinder Pictures. To order Barocco, go to TCM Shopping.

By Paul Tatara

Barocco

Barocco

The early works of director Andre Techine - who wrote film criticism for the legendary New Wave journal Cahiers du Cinema in the mid-1960s - are so steeped in movie history, he might be considered a French cousin to the cinematically over-reflexive American, Brian DePalma. Techine, more so than DePalma, has managed to break the chains of his movie obsessions over years, with such pictures as Hotel des Ameriques (1981) and My Favorite Season (1993) relying on carefully-drawn characters and realistic passions rather than nods to other filmmakers. But his 1977 feature, Barocco, which has been released on DVD by Pathfinder Home Entertainment, is a sexy thriller that's two parts film noir to one part Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. As much as anything else, it's a movie about movies. By definition, there are a lot of conventional gestures in Barocco, but you have to hand it to Techine for being perverse enough to replace Kim Novak with Gerard Depardieu! In the early scenes, Depardieu (far more athletic-looking than he is these days) plays Samson, a boxer who agrees to carry out a mob-devised blackmail scheme at the behest of his prostitute girlfriend, Laure (Isabelle Adjani.) Samson accepts a wad of cash to pretend that he's the homosexual lover of a politician who's running for re-election, but he's murdered by the blackmailers when he backs out on the deal. Then, in a twist that works only if you keep telling yourself you're watching a movie, Laure hides the money and is tracked down by Samson's killer...who looks exactly like his victim. That's right- Depardieu plays both men, not that anybody but Adjani notices the resemblance. Laure refuses to reveal where she stashed the money, and the killer soon finds himself being hidden by her when his mob buddies come looking for him. Hitchcock fans won't be surprised when Laure starts re-inventing the killer in her dead boyfriend's image. And you can be sure that Techine wants it that way. Techine may have been playing with movie conventions, but in later years, he admitted that he always aims for more than that in his films. "The cinema is something I view as popular," he once said, "but it has to have an artistic foundation or backbone or motivation....Life is conflict. And it is only when we are dead that conflict ceases. What I am interested in is showing people who are absolutely alive and therefore in conflict. In conflict with their society, with their times, and even their own family. And if there is no conflict, there cannot be a story. Happiness need not be told." Techine must have been satisfied with Barocco: Both the dead and the living get their due, it's loaded to the gills with conflict, and it doesn't exactly ooze happiness. Pathfinder's widescreen transfer is ok but could be better in the darker scenes, which have a lot of grain and flutter. They've included a trailer, a gallery of stills, and some fairly enlightening commentary by film critics Andy Klein and Wade Major. Too bad Techine didn't get an audio track. It would have been fun to hear the former critic critique his own film, especially 25 years down the road. For more information about Barocco, visit Pathfinder Pictures. To order Barocco, go to TCM Shopping. By Paul Tatara

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States December 20, 1991

Released in United States March 1977

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1976

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1976

Released in United States March 1977 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Contemporary Cinema) March 9-27, 1977.)

Released in United States December 20, 1991 (Public Theater; New York City)