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MAIN CAST


  LE LIEU DU CRIME
Scene of the Crime  
Andre Techine
1986 || 90 mins

On the weekend of his first communion, 13-year-old Thomas (Nicolas Giraudi) runs into Martin (Wadek Stanczaki), who has just escaped from jail, and wants the boy to bring him some money. Thomas is a troubled kid who lives with his mother Lili (Catherine Deneuve) and grandparents in a small town, and openly defies the authority of his father and the local priest. Returning with the money, Martin is attacked and almost killed by another criminal, until Martin intervenes and saves him. After stumbling into the local bar, Martin finds a friend and protector in Lili. As their relationship develops, outside forces conspire to tear their short-lived happiness apart.


see also articles on:
Top 10 Films by Lesser Known Directors || Andre Techine Profile || French New Wave History || French New Wave Film Guide

In common with much of Andre Techine’s work, Le lieu du crime is a slow-burning psychological thriller about repressed emotions, broken families, and the search for love. From the opening scene in a remote cemetery – a clear reference to the beginning of Great Expectations – to the closing scene in a police van as it carries Lili to self-inflicted exile, this is a story of characters grasping at freedom any way they can get it. Assisted by his co-writers, Pascal Bonitzer and Oliver Assayas (both now directors in their own right), Téchiné keeps us guessing through weaving plot twists that conceal some of the more implausible turns in the narrative.

Téchiné’s style of restless camera movement and seemingly casual editing suggest a nervous, intense curiosity equivalent to rapid sketching. Each scene comes loaded with expectation and a sense of threat. This is post-New Wave filmmaking where human and psychological motivation takes precedence over stylistic innovation.

The film is beautifully acted by its cast, especially Catherine Deneuve, radiating vulnerability from beneath a carefully controlled façade, and Nicolas Giraudi as a lost boy searching for a father-figure. Veteran actress Danielle Darrieux also puts in an appearance as Thomas’s grandmother.



You can see a clip of Le Lieu du Crime here.


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