Scola's wordless musical-dance extravaganza traces the life of a ballroom from 1936 to the present. While couples meet, steal kisses, and separate, events in the world outside are echoed in their mimetic rituals and groupings; for the film is clearly intended as a historical and political allegory. Instead of offering any insights into France's shifting character, it relies largely on the audience's smug recognition of supposedly 'significant' cultural symbols. Fatuous stuff, really, especially when several references are anachronistic. A strong cast struggles valiantly against Felliniesque stereotypes to convey the gaucheries of human coupling. But in a movie aiming for something more ambitious, that's simply not enough.
Scarpelli, Jean-Claude Penchenat, Ruggero Maccari, Ettore Scola
Le Troupe du Théâtre du Campagnol
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