PostED ON OCTOBER 19 AT 10AM
We know Delon and René Clément. We know Delon in Italy. But Alain Delon, René Clément and Italy? It’s unheard of, except for this comedy (!), called The Joy of Living.
The Joy of Living (1961) by René Clément
The Joy of Living (1961) is a hybrid film. Sure, Alain Delon is a political printing apprentice, but not by choice. Hired by the fascists to find work in Italy in the 1930s, he climbs the facade of a church to plant a flag bearing the words "Anarchy and Freedom." René Clément, the French filmmaker and specialist in male exasperation, melancholic to the point of danger, films on Italian territory and directs Delon, his favorite actor in an unusual way - with a permanent smile. The excellent physical reflexes of the actor with the perilously beautiful face must dedicate his all his talent to cheerfulness and lightness, a far cry from the determined and conniving actions of the protagonist of Purple Noon (Clément, 1960). The Joy of Living is probably the only movie in which Delon is adorable. A young man determined to be adopted by everyone, he behaves unpredictably and always surprisingly, to make himself unconsciously unforgettable, yet also pleasantly complicated. He foils all the plans we make for him, with no explanation. The Joy of Living thus references another version of Delon, who throws us off track, and then manages to act in the most anti-militarist film, incarnating a character against the Algerian War that has remained unequaled to this day, The Unvanquished by Alain Cavalier (1964). A tragic version of The Joy of Living.