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Big screen classics

Le Signe du lion

+ intro by Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-large

The Sign of Leo

Eric Rohmer’s debut sees an American in Paris reduced to poverty after prematurely spending his inheritance.

Image from Le Signe du lion

France 1962
Dir Eric Rohmer
With Jess Hahn, Van Doude, Stéphane Audran, Jean-Luc Godard
87min
Digital
English subtitles
Certificate PG

Besides Godard, Fassbinder admired Chabrol and Rohmer, and this, the latter’s first completed feature, inspired The City Tramp. Itself distantly inspired by Murnau’s The Last Laugh, it sees a down-at-heel American in Paris reduced to poverty after he prematurely spends an inheritance which fails to materialise. A bracingly believable cautionary tale, shot with a vivid realism sometimes reminiscent of early Cassavetes.

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