Week of March 9, 2005

La Petite Lili. (Not Rated) Three decades' experience serves French director Claude Miller well in his clever, contemporary adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. Interpreting the emotional dramas among family and friends with finesse and vitality, Miller contrasts the dazzling sunlight and glistening water at the lovely lakeside estate in Brittany with the devious machinations and narcissistic indulgence among the insular group vacationing there. Young, seductive Lili and temperamental experimental filmmaker Julien open the film with a sexual encounter, but an ambitious Lili will soon flirt brazenly with the more useful, commercial director Brice, lover of Julien's barbed-tongue, movie-star mother, Mado. Others astutely observe the shifting dynamics, especially Mado's father, Simon, and Jeanne-Marie, whose transparent longing for Julien is discounted. Self-serving power-plays culminate in a last act that collapses art and life in a bittersweet, ironic embrace. In French with English subtitles. Screens at 7 p.m. Friday, March 11, through Sunday, March 13, in the Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University, 470 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves. Call 314-968-7487 for more information. (Diane Carson)
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