SIX DAYS, SIX NIGHTS
It's time for a trip to the art house. SIX DAYS SIX NIGHTS,
imported from France, is an art film with lots of heavy talk about the nature of
love. But it's also a thriller of sorts, one with enough outright macabre
touches to categorize it as psychological horror
a fact I'm sure would horrify director Diane Kurys to no end.
Art house mavens swooned in fits of ecstasy when Fine
Line Features announced the release of this film, originally titled A LA FOLIE,
in the summer of 1994. It paired two big name French stars, Anne Parillaud (LA
FEMME NIKITA) and Beatrice Dalle (from BETTY BLUE and
INSIDE), with director
Diane Kurys (much respected for films like ENTRE NOUS and PEPPERMINT SODA). Even
though the score by Michael Nyman (of THE PIANO fame) was released on CD, the
film never appeared. To this day it has yet to be released (legally) in the US.
Of course, one look at the finished product and it's not hard to see why Fine
Line developed cold feet.
A successful painter, Alice (Parillaud, utterly
unconvincing), attempts to escape the obsessive attentions of her sister Elsa (Dalle,
marginally better) by moving in with boyfriend Frank (Patrick Aurignac, awful).
Naturally Elsa, after walking out on her family one morning (still in her
bedroom slippers), tracks Alice down and turns her life upside-down. Elsa
seduces Frank (unconvincingly) using Alice's affections as a weapon (again
unconvincingly) until finally the three of them barricade themselves in their
apartment. Then the twisted mind games really begin, and we're left to ponder
whether Alice and Elsa once shared an incestuous relationship--or if they're
really even sisters at all...
In case I've made this story sound too exciting, let me
set the record straight: the dialogue is obvious and silly, the characters are
cardboard, and the story is a mess of cliches from start to finish.
It's a sort-of French-ified SINGLE WHITE
FEMALE, but maybe that's not such an apt comparison. After all, Single White
Female was a good movie!
Diane Kurys' earlier more
successful films tended to be light, autobiographical melodramas. Here, she's
clearly out of her element.
While I can applaud Kurys for
trying something new, the finished product leaves much to be desired.
The visuals are flat and uninteresting, and the entire exercise plays like a
boring product of the US studio system. (This from a country that goes out of
its way to avoid such fare!) In addition, Kurys only uses about half the tracks
from Michael Nyman's excellent score, and the weaker ones at that. Thankfully,
that score is readily available on CD--buy it and skip the movie.
SIX DAYS, SIX NIGHTS (a.k.a. A LA FOLIE)
New Light Films
Director: Diane Kurys
Producer: Alexandre Arcady
Screenplay: Diane Kurys, Antoine Lacomblez
Cinematography: Fabio Conversi
Editor: Luc Barnier
Cast: Anne Parillaud, Beatrice Dalle, Patrick Aurignac, Bernard Verley, Marie
Guillard, Jean Claude De Goros, Alain Chabat