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Betsy Sharkey's film pick of the week: Truffaut and Tarantino

March 9, 2011 |  3:34 pm


This weekend, consider indulging in a double bill of Truffaut and Tarantino.

Start with the French director's “The Last Metro” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at LACMA, part of the museum's tribute to actress Catherine Deneuve. The 1980 film, which costarred Gerard Depardieu, is set during World War II in Nazi-occupied Paris. There is a theater run by its star (Deneuve), with a new play being staged.

The film unfolds as a play within a play, its story of identity and fate a thin scrim for its dissection of what it meant to be Jewish in those times. Meanwhile, the rehearsals and performances serve as cover for the actress' Jewish husband, the theater’s noted director now hiding in its cellar.

Getprev-1 Savor that, then go home and pop in a DVD of Tarantino's “Inglourious Basterds.” Though it's black comedy to Truffaut’s drama, the same creative river runs through it. For whatever else Truffaut and Tarantino have on their minds, both pay tribute to the art and artifice of theater and to the artistic voices that refuse to be silenced by even the most villainous of regimes.

-- Betsy Sharkey

Top photo: Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve play stage actors caught up in the resistance in Nazi-occupied Paris in Truffaut's "The Last Metro." Credit: United Artists

Bottom photo: Quentin Tarantino. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times