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Paris, in the 1960s. A series of crimes troubles the public tranquility. On March, 22, 1968, Hélène Picard, a prostitute sentenced to death two years before for several murders, is killed by executioner Louis Guilbeau. Immediately, the violent crimes, similar to Hélène's ones, go on again. In parallel, Louis is having an affair with the police woman in charge of the investigation... What are the obscure relations hidden behind the executioner and the mysterious killer? Who is this dark man in reality?
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French New Wave meets Psycho
I read online about this little-known French movie and wanted to watch it for some time. Spring 1968 in Paris : after a serial killer got executed, murders of prostitutes in Pigalle continue while the police starts investigating the case. The movie is not bad and has a nice cinematography provided by Gérard de Battista that really gives a noir feel to it. The soundtrack by Bernard Vitet is just excellent and the political context of that time is well reflected in the movie. However, the ending is quite predictable and the jump cuts did not really do the job in my opinion. I recommend this movie to hardcore film noir lovers like me and to French New Wave fans. If you don't like disturbing films, stay away from this one.
Lost and now back
Everal sex workers have been killed and the populace is in a panic as a serial killer is on the loose. Then, a woman named Hélène Picard is executed for the crimes, yet within a few weeks, they start all over again as a mysterious woman is seen with the victims moments before they are killed. Meanwhile, the man who executed Hélène, Louis Guilbeau (Claude Merlin) begins a relationship with the woman who arrested her, Solange (Solange Pradel),yet he may not be who he claims to be.
A Woman Kills was directed by Jean-Denis Bonan, who was dealing with censors being enraged by his first short film, A Season for Mankind, which meant that producer Anatole Dauman was unable to find distribution for the film for 45 years until Luna Park Films brought it back to life in a new restoration.
What emerges is a film at the center of arthouse and grindhouse, yet leaning to the former. It has the POV shots of a slasher, yet the look and feel of the French New Wave mixed with German expressionism all with a short running time and a soundtrack that makes the whole thing feel ill at ease. In short, I loved it, a film that presents how the thriller or krimi may have become a genre of its own - in an alternate timeline - in France instead of Italy.
Look for a Jean Rollin in a small role!