Cannes Film Festival 1967
Locarno international Film Festival 1967
Gabriel Arout, Pierre Koralnik, Jean-Louis Roy
Marie-France Boyer, Daniel Emilfork, Serge Gainsbourg, Howard Vernon
Deaf Crocodile Films
North American Premiere of a new 4K restoration by the Cinematheque Suisse
Swiss director Jean-Louis Roy’s long-lost mid-1960s Cold War super-spy thriller is a marvelous and surreal hall of mirrors, part DR. STRANGELOVE, part ALPHAVILLE, with sly nods to British TV shows like THE AVENGERS and DOCTOR WHO. The film stars a who’s-who of great ’60s character actors, starting with the unforgettable Daniel Emilfork (THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, THE DEVIL’S NIGHTMARE) as crazed scientist Herbert Von Krantz, who’s invented a device to sterilize all nuclear weapons called The Annulator. A mad herd of rival spies are desperate to get their hands on the device, including legendary French singer Serge Gainsbourg as the leader of a sect of bald, turtleneck-wearing assassins (!), and Jess Franco vet Howard Vernon (THE AWFUL DR. ORLOF). Gainsbourg’s deranged jazz-lounge song, “Bye Bye Mr. Spy” – performed by him on a funeral-parlour organ, no less – is arguably the film’s high point.
All mod sunglasses and bizarre architecture (including Antoni Gaudi’s famed La Pedrera/Casa Mila), the long-unavailable SHANDIGOR has been beautifully restored by the Cinematheque Suisse. “An accomplished spy is at the same time psychologist, artist, funambulist, conjurer,” to quote one of the characters – and the same could be said of Roy’s exotic camera obscura of B&W Cold War paranoia. With Marie-France Boyer (Agnes Varda’s LE BONHEUR).
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Two hearing-impaired women fall prey to a charismatic murderer in this breathtaking thriller with impeccable sound design.
Mikhael Bassilli, Luc Walpoth
A crackling thriller and a study of desperate people in a desperate situation, BABY MONEY delivers in so many ways.