Watched: October 8 2018
Director: Louis Malle
Starring: Catherine Demongeot, Philippe Noiret, Hubert Deschamps, Carla Marlier, Vittorio Caprioli, Yvonne Clech
Runtime: 1h 33min
Zazie (Demongeot), a charming ten-year-old precocious brat, is left with her uncle Gabriel (Noiret) in Paris for the weekend so that her mum can get some sexytime with her new lover.
Zazie’s only goal for the weekend is to go on the metro, so she is less than impressed when it is closed due to a strike. On her first morning at her uncle’s place, she sneaks off to explore the city on her own and try to find an open metro, but instead she finds a very creepy stranger (Caprioli) and lots of trouble.
The creepy stranger may or may not be a paedophile, may or may not be a cop, and may or may not also be attracted to Zazie’s aunt and a merry widow they encounter on their adventures. It’s all a bit fuzzy and bewildering.
While we didn’t quite understand what was happening half the time, Zazie dans le Métro was a wild ride from start to finish. The visual comedy of it reminded us a bit of Hulot, and we loved the silliness of it all, although we’re pretty sure we saw a poor lady stabbed at some point. And there’s an attempted rape. And there’s a fairly big chance Zazie is a victim of abuse or a psychopath, judging from her reactions to people and events. Now that we think about it, are we sure this is a comedy..?
Still, we loved the cuts, the speeding up and slowing down of the film, the absurdity, the chaos and the colours, and the assortment of strange and unusual characters.
There’s a reason this film keeps playing in film clubs and cinemas to this day, and it’s well worth catching. Enjoy a strange romp through an even stranger Paris!
What we learned: Not everything needs to make sense all the time. Sometimes you just have to enjoy the ride.
Next time: A Taste of Honey (1961)