International Film: The Band (1970)

In this weeks International Film, Anna Marczynska takes a look at The Band (1970).

Anna Marczynska
3rd February 2020
Image: IMDB
Ever wondered why old movies feel like more of an effort to watch? Maybe it’s the acting we aren’t used to or the visual sensation in itself? However, every once in a while it’s good to make that extra bit of effort, especially on a gloomy Sunday.

This week I look back at The Band (1970) a musical comedy starring Louis de Funès (The Troops of St. Tropez), who plays a dance company director, Evan Evans, going on tour to Rome. However, there are some hiccups along the way, as one of the dancers has a baby and another wants to get married and leave the company. It was directed bySerge Korber (Idiot in Paris), with whom Funès later collaborated on another successful film Perched on a Tree.

It is a heartfelt comedy, that bursts with colour and positive energy

To be completely honest, as with a lot of older films, there are some dynamics that make me cringe a little bit. For example, the dancers have in their contract that they can’t get married and every interaction with a male is prohibited. He controls their every move, which makes this dance company sometimes feel more like a harem. It is also treated as a matter of fact, that there is no place in the company for a bigger girl, as he rudely dismisses one in the auditions.

On the other hand, it is a heartfelt comedy, that bursts with colour and positive energy, which is exactly what we all need after the exam season. The everyday activities of the dancers, closely supervised by Mr Evans, feel like a parody of ballet schools of that time and I found myself enjoying them quite a bit. One of my favourite parts of this film is the opening scene, where brightly coloured cars of the era zig zag on sunny boulevard to overtake each other. If you can look past the misguided sensibilities of the 70’s, I highly recommend you watch this film on a cloudy weekend.

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