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Love's on the lam in French thriller

The Week Ahead

May 16, 2005|Susan King

If you have no desire to see Wookiees, droids, Yoda or Anakin Skywalker take his first breath as Darth Vader, there are a few other films opening in theaters this week, including "A Tout de Suite," the new film by acclaimed French director Benoit Jacquot ("Sade," "The School of Flesh").

The erotically tinged thriller opens Friday for a one-week engagement at the Nuart Theatre in West L.A.

Shot in wide screen in a gritty black-and-white style reminiscent of those of such New Wave cinematographers as Raoul Coutard ("Breathless") and Henri Decae ("The Four Hundred Blows"), the film is based on "When I Was 19," a memoir by Elisabeth Fanger.

"Suite" stars Isild Le Besco ("Sade") as Lili, a free-spirited art student who lives in Paris with her staid older sister. One day, she catches sight of a handsome young man, Bada (Ouassini Embarek), at a cafe and that evening dances with him at a club. The two quickly become a couple as he lavishes her with expensive gifts. When she asks what he does for a living, he only tells her that he is involved in real estate.

But one day she gets a call that Bada and his cronies have robbed a bank and have taken hostages inside the building. When Bada manages to escape the bank with the stolen money, he invites Lili to join him on the lam. The two flee to Spain, Morocco and Greece, but their finances and relationship disintegrate with each new location.

"A Tout de Suite" premiered last year at the Cannes Film Festival and has been featured at numerous international film festivals. It opened last month in New York to generally favorable reviews.

-- Susan King

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