Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. France/Italy, 1960. Nouvelles Editions de Films. Screenplay by Louis Malle, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, based on the novel by Raymond Queneau. Cinematography by Henri Raichi. Produced by Louis Malle. Music by Fiorenzo Carpi, Andre Pontin. Production Design by Bernard Evein. Costume Design by Marc Doelnitz. Film Editing by Kenout Peltier.
Zazie is excited to come to the big city of Paris for a weekend with her uncle because she wants to ride the subway; huge disappointment, then, when it turns out to be closed due to a strike. Naturally, the next best thing is to cause all manner of mayhem throughout the City of Lights, which she does in this delightfully absurd, brightly coloured comedy that features a hilariously deadpan Philippe Noiret as the man in charge. Traffic jams and madcap slapstick in restaurants is just the beginning of the delicious fun to be had here, with a terrific Catherine Demongeot in the lead and Louis Malle’s impeccably controlled direction doing a fantastic job of making it feel frenetic and carefree without ever letting it get messy. Plus, the photography is simply gorgeous.