A Nous La LibertŽ

1216. A NOUS LA LIBERTE (1931-France). With RAYMOND CORDY, HENRI MARC HAND, ROLLA FRANCE, PAUL OLLIVIER. Directed by RENE CLAIR. This joyous, poetic, comedy-satire remains, to this day, one Of the all-time classics. It is a deftly composed combination Of sounds, images and rhythms; also, it was inspired by (and, later, an inspiration to) Charlie Chaplin. Clair cleverly lampoons the lifestyle and values Of the wealthy, along with the industrial revolution and its effects, which had to the director’s way Of thinking, reduced the blue collar worker to a dehumanized machine. As the film opens, a pair Of companions prepare to escape from prison. One, Emile (Henri Marchand), returns to jail after sacrificing himself for the other, Louis (Raymond Cordy), who then goes on to beÂcame a successful record manufacturer. Eventually, Emile takes a job in Louis’ factory, and the two are reunited. After a series Of madcap adventures, Louis’ identity is uncovered and he’s blackmailed by some crooks. He eludes the police, with the help Of his old friend, and the two finally become happy, carefree tramps. There are several faÂmous sequences: Of special note are the parallels in the assembly line labor done by the prisoners and the workers; and the Officials in top hats who indecorously battle each other to retrieve Louis’ bank notes as they are blown about by a wind. LAZARE MEERSON’S extraordinary futuristic sets are models Of their kind, and GEORGES AURIC’S omÂnipresent music score is delightful. The film’s final chorus sums up the spirit Of A Nous la LibertŽ; “My old friend, life is beautiful… One can laugh and sing all together. One can love and drink all together. For us, for us, is freeÂdom.” In French with English subtitles. 87 minutes. Musical Comedy