Flick Pick

Most movies dealing with terrorism these days treat it as fundamentalist insanity or societal cancer. In contrast, 1962’s 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 don’t like it when you’re brutal and odd!” But the weirdness has only begun: Before long, he’s 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 Clément’s 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

 
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