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'Rules of the Game,' 'Casque d'Or' at LACMA: Kenneth Turan's picks

March 1, 2012 |  8:00 am

Casque d'Or
Now that film exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has been pared down to a minimum, thank God for the good taste of artist Ellsworth Kelly, who has been allowed to curate a small French film series that includes two exceptional works that happen to be personal favorites, Jean Renoir's “The Rules of the Game” and Jacques Becker's masterful, little-seen “Casque d'Or.”

While Renoir's transcendent 1939 film is on many all-time-best lists, Becker, who was Renoir's assistant director on “Rules of the Game,” had powerful gifts of his own.

“Casque d'Or” is a brilliantly fatalistic romance set in belle époque Paris that captivates both visually and dramatically. Its title, literally “helmet of gold,” refers to the cascading hair of star Simone Signoret in a performance so riveting that the French put it on a stamp.

Both films screen March 9 at LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. “Games” is up first at 7:30 p.m., with “Casque” following at 9:30 p.m.

At $10 for the double bill, you won't find a better film bargain in town.


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-- Kenneth Turan

Photo: Simone Signoret, left, and Claude Dauphin in Jacques Becker's "Casque d'Or." Credit: Los Angeles County Museum of Art