CAT PEOPLE
1942, Warner Bros., 73 min, USA, Dir: Jacques Tourneur

Serbian immigrant Irena (Simone Simon) can’t bring herself to bed new husband Oliver (Kent Smith) for fear she will transform into a cat, as her homeland’s fables warn. When hubby sends her to a psychiatrist, Irena’s problems only worsen, until her demons come clawing and growling to the surface. Jacques Tourneur’s darkly stylish, genuinely frightening horror-noir is laced with subversive sexual undertones, and was the high point of his estimable collaborations with producer Val Lewton at RKO.


LE PLAISIR
1952, Janus Films, 97 min, Dir: Max Ophuls

Max Ophuls brings his opulent, dazzling style to this triptych of tales by Guy de Maupassant about the ironies, compromises and pleasures of the human condition. Set in an array of richly textured, late 19th-century locales, spanning the bucolic French countryside to the artists’ studios and urban bordellos of Paris. With an all-star French cast including Jean Gabin, Simone Simon and Danielle Darrieux. Stanley Kubrick once named it as his favorite film. In French with English subtitles.


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