french films > These Things Happen (Les Choses de la Vie)

These Things Happen (Les Choses de la Vie)

Les Choses de la Vie

These Things Happen (Les Choses de la Vie)

Review score: * * * * *

cast: Michel Piccoli, Romy Schneider, Léa Massari

year: 1970

colour: yes

certificate: 15

director: Claude Sautet

runtime: 89

Claude Sautet’s film begins with the aftermath of a violent car crash along a rural motorway. As the man, Pierre (Piccoli), lies in a semi-conscious stupor, his life flashes before his eyes— specifically, his complex entanglement with two very different women: his dutiful, long-suffering wife (Massari) and his adoring, free-spirited mistress (Schneider). One scene follows another in fragmented, free-associative fashion, ingeniously filmed by Sautet with an army of slo-mo cameras in a manner that recalls the climax of Bonnie and Clyde.


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