Les portes de la nuit

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Gates of the Night is memorable and worthwhile for at least two things: the song “Autumn Leaves” and the very peculiar personification of Destiny played as played by Jean Vilar. His is a very earthy destiny, ragged, slightly exhausted looking and in need of a shave. He doesn’t so much intervene as simply observe, and when he does intervene, his manner is observable and direct, not mystical and otherworldly. As a result, the fantastical elements of the film, of which there are many, consisting primarily of a string of extraordinary coincidences,  fade into the background, leaving a surprisingly poignant story of love found and lost on the streets of a poor neighborhood in Paris during the course of a single, lonely night. Those who find the song haunting and beautiful I suspect will find the film the same.

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