Most movies dealing with terrorism these days treat it as fundamentalist insanity or societal cancer. In contrast, 1962s Le Combat Dans L'ile turns the subject into, of all things, a complicating factor in a love triangle. The marriage of mood-swingy Anne (Romy Scheider) and rich kid Clément (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is rocky from the start, what with his tendency toward cruel possessiveness; at one point, she tells him, I dont like it when youre brutal and odd! But the weirdness has only begun: Before long, hes set up for trying to assassinate a politician targeted by his group of right-wing cabal-mates, who dress like tony business executives, except with bazookas. The two subsequently hide out with Cléments boyhood friend Paul (Henri Serre), now a committed lefty with a recently deceased wife and when Clément is forced to leave the country, guess what happens. As directed by Louis Malle protegé Alain Cavalier, the offering is a relatively minor if diverting exemplar of its era. Still, the blend of upper-class terror and romantic sophistication delivers a culturally dislocating kick.
The film debuts at Starz FilmCenter in the Tivoli at 5:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 2. Tickets are $6 to $9.50. Learn about future showtimes and more at 303-595-3456 or www.denverfilm.org.
Oct. 2-8, 2009