The French actor Charles Denner stars in this lost gem of a film. Made in Montreal and released in 1966. A quiet film that deals with relationships rather than action. The humor is gently and subtle. It reminds me of Agnès Varda's directing. But the seriousness of the under-theme is not on full display due to the director's use of humor. The main themes are loss, longing and caring. Not a brief fling movie as in the synopsis. The sixties music is used well though showing it's age. The film deals with two happenstance meetings one with a beautiful woman and one with a little girl. Something I don't think you could handle in the same fashion anymore.
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Un ingénieur européen de passage à Montréal doit attendre deux jours un rendez-vous d'affaires. Pour tuer le temps, il se promène dans les rues, et se met à la recherche de ses parents, dont la guerre l'a séparé dès l'âge de quatre ans. L'aventure s'amène sous les traits d'une fillette de onze ans et d'une jeune beauté. Rencontres de hasard qui, pourtant, le marquent et l'obligent à se définir.
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Denner at his most charming.
'YUL 871' - also known as 'Montreal Flight 871' - this little-seen Canadian film focuses on a European engineer who flies to Montreal on business, only to find himself distracted by a lonely woman, an even lonelier young girl and the pure beauty of the city at night. "I know of no place where people dream so much" states a Canadian business associate as he takes our protagonist on a tour of the city by helicopter, this tugging at what 'YUL 871' is thematically about. It is certainly far from a traditional narrative and extremely episodic as the engineer goes between romantic flings, walking the streets, visiting work associates and back again. The key theme here seems to be the wonder of new, undiscovered places and the feeling of anything being possible in a new place where nobody really knows you. And indeed, his dreams come true in a way, saddled (momentarily) with the beautiful daughter he wishes he had and a loving wife that he wishes he had, while in a city that at night seems just as magical as the titular location of Woody Allen's 'Manhattan'. The film is just as gorgeously shot in black and white as 'Manhattan' too with hand-held shots, aerial shots and lots of mobile camera-work throughout enforcing the dreamlike quality. Sure, the film might be more of a love letter to Montreal than a cohesive story, but gee what a love letter it is!