2771. FRANZ (1972-France-Belgium) COLOR. With JACQUES BREL. Directed and co-scripted by BREL. Fabled French singing star Jacques Brel stars in this, his first film as director. It is an evocative drama set in an idyllic seaside resort where overly stressed-out casualties of contemporary society come to dry out and regain their equilibrium. One of them is Leon (nicely played by Brel), a quiet and genile soul who stays by himself to collect and fly racing pigeons. Onto the scene come two very different young women. The first is Catherine, a bubbly stenographer who loves to laugh, dance and flirt. The second is sensitive Leonie, a shy romantic who is neither as pretty nor as outgoing as her companion. She and Leon soon begin chatting and spending time together. They reveal their secrets and their dreams while strolling along the shore. Clearly, they are attracted to each other. Could this be love? Certainly romance does not come easily to either one of these complex characters. For them, the path leading to love is bound to be a circuitous one. They are not helped by the various characters who surround them and who keep offering unwanted advice to the lovelorn. Finally, a prank involving the seductive Catherine sets into motion a startling chain of events. This is a delicate drama that is full of surprise revelations and ends in a shattering climax. It explores the complexities of human emotion and the ever-elusive quest for happiness in an often bitter and cruel world. In French with English subtitles. 87 minutes. Drama