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Psy

Psy

A Feature film by Philippe de Broca

Produced by Les Films Ariane

Release in France : 04/02/1981

    Synopsis

    The cartoonist Gerard Lauzier wrote this satire of psychologists, their practice, and the whole idea of group therapy, around Marc (Patrick Dewaere), a psychologist who may need more help than he gives. Right now, Marc is living in the countryside with Colette (Anny Duperey), but not without difficulties. He plans to conduct a group therapy session at his home one week-end, something that soon unravels because of the sudden arrival of Marc's former girlfriend and her lover. Several years ago, the lover was Marc's trusted friend, until he not only stole Marc's girlfriend, but also his car, and his money. The former girlfriend and former buddy, and their partner in crime are hiding out from the police, and intent on using Marc's property until they are safe. Group therapy, Marc, and Colette will never be the same by the time the week-end is concluded.

    Source : allmovie.com

    Actors (12)

    Production and distribution (4)

    Executive Producer :

    Les Films Ariane

    Film exports/foreign sales :

    Tamasa Distribution

    TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

    TV broadcasts: details by country

    Subject

    This modest, lovely comedy boasts most of the elements we expect from farce - a country house setting, suspended from 'reality'; a cast of stereotypes supporting a hero who becomes increasingly emasculated by sexual complications, involving his wife, his mistress, and a homosexual; the intrusion of unexpected characters, in this case a trio of gangsters; intricate plot twists, involving much running about the house; repeated deferral of sexual gratification; and, after all seems lost, a happy, if weary, ending.

    Patrick Dewaere, who would commit suicide two years later, and is most famous for his films with Gerard Depardieu for Bertrand Blier (LES VALSEUSES, PREPAREZ VOS MOUCHOIRS), is wonderfully helpless as the titular hero, Marc, a psychotherapist who holds weekend group sessions for the timid, repressed and dissatisfied in his wife, Colette's country house. During one such session, he receives an hysterical phone call from an ex-lover, Marlene, who ran off five years ago with his best friend Bob. Moments later she appears at the house with Bob in tow - they have bungled a bank robbery, shot a policeman, and are looking for refuge, as they wait for Marlene's new lover, the psychotically violent Jo. Colette sees this as a threat to their marriage, and decides to teach Marc a lesson.

    She flirts outrageously with Bob, and Marc's exasperation causes the group treatment to deteriorate, although some of the shier members begin to join together independently. Bob is trying to steal the jeep Marc has lovingly painted in day-glo fantasy figures. Just as he is about to make love to a blackmailing Marlene, Jo arrives, and all the simmering tensions finally burst into the open - Colette sleeps with Bob; Marlene indulges in violent bondage sessions with Jo, and Marc finds himself alone with his gay admirer.

    It's so refreshing to see a film that has no pretensions other than to entertain, content to provide the stock mechanics of farce without needing to breath new life into them. There are traumas, and there are a couple of scenes teetering on exploitation, but the structure is such that we're not too worried. When we see that the sinister gangsters could have strayed from a 1930s Warners spoof, we relax. The film is set in a country house, and the characters are all types, but any allegorical resonances are muted. The pretty, sunny photography stays on the right side of lelouchisms.

    PSY is based on a comic book, and the opening sequence of the paintings on Marc's jeep set the tone of fantasy in a realistic context. The thing about fantasy is that it can be most pertinent when it seems furthest away from 'relevance'. While the gentle satire at the use of alternative healing etc won't hurt anyone, the pinpointing of where les evenements of 1968 have come to pass are pointed, where the film's fantasy becomes a figure for how far France has retreated from such idealism. The closing 'escape', comically ironised, is as compromised as it is happy.

    Tied into this is the figure of the revolutionary figure who has sold out to middle-class pleasures - Marc is so undermined in this film, squeezed out of all rooms in the famous bedroom sequence, forced out of his own home, which isn't even his, that we remember the house (e.g. Poe) is often a metaphor for the mind, and as a 'psy', Marc isn't very good (the stolen car, an obvious phallic symbol, confirms this).

    The climactic scene, when the clients take over the house, indifferent to the owners, has a mild echo of Bunuel, but mostly the film is pure farce, with plenty of nudity, but more coitus interruptus. Because farce, for all its intimations of sexual liberation, is always curiously chaste.

    Source : IMDb

    Full credits (16)

    Producers :

    Georges Dancigers, Alexandre Mnouchkine

    Screenwriter :

    Gérard Lauzier

    Sound Recordist :

    Jean Labussière

    Production Manager :

    Raymond Leplont

    Sound editors :

    Michèle Catonné, Catherine Dubeau

    Production Designer :

    Eric Moulard

    Casting :

    Margot Capelier

    Sound mixers :

    Vincent Arnardi, Jean Nény

    Line Producer :

    Jean Nachbaur

    Director of Photography :

    Jean-Paul Schwartz

    Sound Assistant :

    Pierre Davoust

    Editor :

    Françoise Javet

    Continuity supervisor :

    Suzanne Durrenberger

    Music Composer :

    Mort Shuman

    Costume designer :

    Catherine Leterrier

    Still Photographer :

    Étienne George

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :

    Fiction

    Sub-genre :

    Comedy

    Production language :

    French

    Production country :

    France

    Original French-language productions :

    Unknown

    Nationality :

    100% French (France)

    Production year :

    1980

    French release :

    04/02/1981

    Runtime :

    1 h 30 min

    Current status :

    Released

    Visa number :

    52901

    Visa issue date :

    27/01/1981

    Approval :

    Unknown

    Production formats :

    35mm

    Color type :

    Color

    Audio format :

    Mono