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        27 August2
        I forgot to mention in my earlier message that two films were
screened in competition today:
        *Le Septieme Ciel,*  by Benoit Jacquot (France)
        *The Winter Guest* by Alan Rickman (UK)
        Jacquot's film tells the story of Mathilde, who quit her job,
shoplifts, and faints from time to time.  Her husband Nico, a
surgeon, fails to see what's happening to his wife.  Mathilde meets a
doctor who hypnotizes and seduces her...or is the doctor a fantasy
she invents to escape from herself?  However, her condition improves
significantly.  Suddenly, Nico falls ill, becomes depressed and can
no longer love the "new" Mathilde, who has recovered from her health
condition and is reborn sexually.  It is Nico's turn to lose and find
himself.
        Jacquot said: "There's always a direct relationship linking that
state between sleeping and waking (that hypnosis accentuates) and
cinema."
        Rickman's (debut) film tells the story of four couples from four
generations.  Frances (Emma Thompson) and her mother Elspeth
(Thomspon's mother Phyllida Law): daughter/mother.  Frances is unable
to overcome the recent death of her husband and refuses to get out of
bed, while her mother is draging herself through the icy hills of the
Scottish sea town where Frances lives to regain the trust and
affection of her grieving daughter.  Alex (Frances's 16 year old son
who has taken charge of himself and his mother after his father's
death) and Nina (his coquettish neighbor) take their first step
towards adulthood and engage in a breathkless encounter.  Chloe and
Lily, two old ladies, read through the obituaries to choose which
funeral to go to befire braving the sea-front waiting for a bus that
might never come.  Tom and Sam decide to cut school and go to the
beach.  They dare each other to walk on the frozen water which
stretches before them.
        Of the "winter guest," Rickman has said: "It's the person beckoning
to you from afar.  There's a horizon in everyone's life.  In the film
it's the chance for all the characters to look inward."
        Another film, shown in the "Midnight" section today was *Affliction*
by Paul Schroeder (USA), with Nick Nolte, James Coburn, Sissy Spacek,
William Dafoe (who gave Alida Valli her Golden Lion...go figure),
Mary Beth Hurt.
        Lastly, for today's P.S., a number of films from The Venice FilmFest
will be shown in Hollywood (that's all I know).
 
        Gloria Monti
 
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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite 
http://www.sa.ua.edu/screensite