LACMA French Film Series: The Phantom and the Devil 

Thursday, Jul 19 2012
The Devil, Probably

The Devil, Probably

LACMA's ongoing French film series on Fridays this month is offering a notable slew of double features, comparing and contrasting rarely screened classics. Coming on July 20 are blistering social critiques from cinematic auteurs Robert Bresson — The Devil, Probably (1977) — and Luis Buñuel — The Phantom of Liberty (1974).

Penultimate films from then-septuagenarian masters, both have a late-period clarity that seems effortless. Their titles allude to cryptic forces that befuddle humanity, but the films register as tragic (Bresson) and comic (Buñuel) encapsulations of modern life.

Bresson's protagonist, a 20-something named Charles (Antoine Monnier), falls into sarcasm and resignation in the face of the political turmoil and ineffective religion that surrounds him. He scours Paris for meaning, but Bresson's exacting sights (shambling youth and urban dreariness) and sounds (honking traffic and inert pontifications) weigh Charles down at every turn.

click to enlarge The Devil, Probably
  • The Devil, Probably

Location Info

Related Stories

Taking a more surrealist angle, Buñuel's film mashes together absurd characters and situations: A deviant lends schoolgirls "pornographic" photos of French architecture; a dinner party occurs on a ring of toilets (the guests politely excuse themselves to eat in private). While both films fear the destruction of the environment, it's Buñuel's that wonders what we'll do with all the excrement of a rapidly growing population.

FRENCH FILM FRIDAYS | LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd. | Fri., July 20, 7:30 p.m. | lacma.org

Tags: ,

Related Content

Related Locations

Now Showing

  1. Wed 23
  2. Thu 24
  3. Fri 25
  4. Sat 26
  5. Sun 27
  6. Mon 28
  7. Tue 29

    Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

    Sponsored by Fandor

Box Office

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, concert and dining info & more!


  • Emmy-Nominated Costumes on Display
    On Saturday, the Television Academy and FIDM Museum and Galleries kicked off the Eighth Annual exhibition of "The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design" with an exclusive preview and reception party. 100 costumes are featured from over 20 shows representing the nominees of the 66th Emmy Awards. The free to the public exhibition is located downtown at FIDM and runs from today through Saturday, September 20th. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Cowabunga! 30 Years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    The COWABUNGA! - 30 Years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tribute show opened Friday night at Iam8bit. Guests donned their beloved turtle graphic tees, onesies and a couple April O'Neils were there to report on all the mean, green, fighting machine action. Artist included Jude Buffum, Tony Mora, Nan Lawson, leesasaur, Jim Rucc, Mitch Ansara, Guin Thompson, Stratman, Gabe Swarr, Joseph Harmon, Alex Solis, Allison Hoffman, Jose Emroca Flores, Jack Teagle and more. All photos by Shannon Cottrell.
  • Are Westerns For The Weak? Not According to "Sensei" Martin Kove
    Decades ago, the western film was king, with nearly 100 produced every year at their peak in the 1940s, and their popularity extending years beyond. But today, other than rare successes like Django Unchained or True Grit, the genre is not in great shape. Films such as Cowboys and Aliens and The Lone Ranger failed to spark new interests in the western. It's a tough nut to crack, but veteran movie bad guy Martin Kove -- most well known for his role as Sensei John Kreese in The Karate Kid -- is passionate about the classic American film genre and is trying to revive it. We spent an afternoon at his home talking about westerns and how to make the genre interesting again. All photos by Jared Cowan.

Movie Trailers

View all movie trailers >>

Now Trending