It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Georges Lautner's "Galia" opens and closes with arty shots of the ocean, mother of us all, but in between it's pretty clear that what is washing ashore is the French New Wave.
Ever since the memorable "Breathless" (1960) and "Jules and Jim," and the less memorable "La Verite," we have been treated to a parade of young French girls running gaily toward the camera in slow motion, their hair waving in the wind in just such a way that we know immediately they are liberated, carefree, jolly and doomed.
Poor Galia is another. Played by the passingly attractive Mireille Darc, she comes to Paris from the provinces, becomes a window dresser, joins a Bohemian crowd and lives, naturally, in a penthouse apartment on the Left Bank.
It might have been interesting to learn how Galia pays the rent on her salary but, alas, Lautner has a more significant plot for us. Galia rescues a would-be suicide from the Seine, takes her home and cares for her, and discovers that the hapless woman is unloved by her husband.
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One of the most audacious American films from the 1960s is now available via the Criterion Collection.