Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Le Signe Du Lion
France, 1959. Ajym Films. Screenplay by Eric Rohmer, dialogue by Paul Gegauff. Cinematography by Nicolas Hayer. Produced by Claude Chabrol. Music by Louis Saguer. Film Editing by Anne-Marie Cotret, Marie-Josèphe Yoyotte.
A musician in Paris (Jess Hahn) lives off friends and the occasional gig, constantly expecting an inheritance to come in and make him a rich man. When his aunt dies and he finds out he’s going to inherit millions, Hahn throws a terrific bash with all of his friends who subsequently leave town for their summer vacations. Little do they know that his aunt left all her money to Hahn’s cousin and he is now without home or possessions and must wander the streets of Paris a beggar. Eric Rohmer captures a painful level of believability while at the same time taking in the beauty of Paris, a city of love and laughter that has nothing to offer a person with no money. Watching this man’s descent into nothingness is painful but at the same time compelling, and Hahn’s performance in the lead is excellent.