A couple are show in bed together but nothing more is shown.
Some kissing.
An adulterous relationship is presented.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


The elevator to the death row was Louis Malle’s first feature film. The film came out in 1957 when the young director was only 25 years old.

Louis Mahler, a pioneer of sina wave, made this film during the colonial war between France and Algeria. The dialogue between the characters in the film has talked about the war for many times, which also reflects the background of this era. Leaving aside the background of the film, this film starring Jeanne Moreau (born on January 23, 1928) is undoubtedly a great innovation in Louis Mahler’s era with its new film concept and divorced from the traditional film creation consciousness.

In terms of the content of the film, the elevator to the death penalty platform tells an ordinary suspense story with two main lines. A main line is like this: the hero Julian (Maurice ronet) retired from the paratroopers and later worked as an employee in an arms company, but fell in love with the boss’s wife, Jeanne Moreau. Julian murdered the boss in order to be together. After the successful murder, Julian was locked up in the elevator because he went back to clean up the crime scene. On the other hand, Florence, who had arranged to meet Julian on Saturday, began to look for her anxiously because Julian had not arrived. In another story clue, two young men who are young and indifferent steal Julian’s car and some of his crime tools, and are involved in another murder. The two stories seem to develop independently, but they are also closely related to and ridicule each other.

In terms of content, this crime suspense film even has the main structure of the film, such as Hitchcock’s intertwined fate, crime transfer and so on. However, despite this intertwined fate, the main focus of the film is not on the dramatic ups and downs, crime details and tense atmosphere of suspense films (there are murder scenes in the film, but there is no blood), but the anxiety of Florence and Julian when they are separated from each other, the fear of Julian being trapped in the elevator, and the frustration of young people, The inner emotions of these people are the focus of the film. In addition, a monologue with aftertaste at the end of the film seems to bring the film to the theme of “love”.

So how does the film show the character’s heart?

The first is the heroine Florence. The first shot of the elevator to the death penalty platform is a close-up of the heroine Florence’s face, and then slowly pull back from this local close-up to present a panoramic view. From here on, Director Louis Mahler seems to have deliberately changed the audience’s viewing habits. He omitted the process of setting up the lens in traditional films, making the viewer suddenly face the close-up of the protagonist’s face, combined with the protagonist’s murmuring on the phone, the interfering, lonely and constant tone seems to come from the nether world. The combination of image and monologue whisper makes the audience fall into the inner emotion of the characters at once. Moreover, from the following plot of the film, it can be seen that Florence presented to the audience by the director is a lonely soul image who hesitates in the streets and cafes of Paris, thinks she has been abandoned by Julian, but is still bent on looking for a unwilling heart. Moreover, in the process of searching and hesitating, there are also a large number of character close-up and inner monologues. Loneliness, alienation, anxiety and fear, the inner emotions of these characters are well reflected through the narration of Florence’s image and inner activities.

The third is the film’s depiction of Julian’s heart. Compared with Florence’s more feminine inner depiction, Julian’s inner presentation appears masculine. Such depiction is reflected in his helplessness, loss and fear in his confrontation with fate. Viewers can know that Julian spent most of his time in the elevator in the film, but such a guilty man was locked in the elevator. In such a “closed and narrow (a very symbolic place)” place, he endured the anxiety and fear of being found in the evil moment. It can be imagined how hard it was to calm his heart. So how does Director Louis Mahler express the inner feelings of the characters? Mainly through two aspects, one is character behavior, the other is the configuration of sound effects. Different from the direct presentation of inner activities in the narrator, Julian was anxious in the narrow elevator until he finished smoking the last cigarette. After lying on the ground and writing helplessly, he got up and tried to get out again. There is also the sound effect (perhaps an implicit heartbeat) used in the film when it was almost found. These two are the indirect means to show Julian’s inner activities.

It seems that the theme of the film is expressed in an existential way, which can easily make the viewer feel depressed, as can be seen from the means of depicting the hearts of the protagonists and heroines. But this film, which tells the murder story but focuses on the character’s heart, is not only characterized by this (in the film environment at that time). The most important feature is the picture tension expressed by the sense of film lens. Louis Mahler once claimed to be deeply influenced by Bresson’s realism and Jacques Tati’s rare dialogue. In connection with the elevator to the death penalty platform, it is not difficult to find that this feature is reflected everywhere in the film: the hero and heroine have never seen each other from beginning to end. It seems that there is only a connection in the photo, and there is only a short dialogue at the beginning of the film (which can only explain the connection between the two). Looking at the sound effects and picture processing, in this film, the desolate Jazz soundtrack and the low sound effects that show the inner activities of the characters often appear alternately. The former is calm and slow, and the latter is neurotic and a line of life and death. The two form a strong contrast in hearing and essentially reflect the relaxation of the characters’ inner emotions. In terms of picture processing, the narrow elevator that makes people nervous and afraid, the building that is empty and soaked in darkness, and the lights of the building are almost bright and dark, just like horror films. However, the film has repeatedly realistically recorded the orderly streets and warm and comfortable cafes in Paris, giving people a completely different feeling. Therefore, from these two points of view, the biggest feature of this film classified as criminal suspense is not its suspense setting, nor the existential temperament in the film, but the relaxation of the film in the whole emotion and picture tone.

As the first feature film of Louis Mahler, the veteran director of the left bank school, its success heralded the advent of a new era of film. A year later, the new wave movement in the French film industry began to surge.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here