LA’s 17th annual City of Lights, City of Angels French film festival (COL*COA) has given director Wes Anderson carte-blanche to program one of his favorite French films. No surprise here, Anderson’s taste is impeccable: He has selected Louis Malle’s 1963 lyrical depression drama “The Fire Within.”
The film is based on the novel by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, source material that also inspired last year’s festival favorite “Oslo, August 31.” It stars Maurice Ronet (also in Malle’s “Elevator to the Gallows”) and French New Wave legend Jeanne Moreau. (For more evidence of Anderson’s cinephile leanings, check out his Top 10 for Criterion here.)
Moreau is highlighted in another COL*COA repertory pick for the upcoming 2013 fest, Jacques Demy’s resplendent “Bay of Angels,” about a duo of star-crossed lovers caught in the glittery world of Mediterranean casinos. It will screen in a restored 35mm print.
The fest runs April 15-22. Info on screening dates, as well as COL*COA’s complete new film lineup, will be announced March 26.
Here’s a scene from “The Fire Within,” featuring Claude Helffler’s beautifully evocative piano, from music by composer Eric Satie: