La marge (1976)

La Marge is one of the oddest films in the legendary Walerian Borwoczyk’s filmography. He typicallly dealt in period pieces for his life action epics, but La Marge is very much of the time it was made in. I would say that as much as any other film from the seventies, that it belongs to the decade. Everything from the clothes to the music, to the look and attitude makes La Marge one of the quintessential features of the 1970’s and, to my eyes, one of the best.

To me, Walerian Borowczyk is in the same league with the likes of Stanley Kubrick, and his work should be picked apart and studied in film schools all over the world. Unfortunately, film audiences and critics have too long shunned this iconic and talented director due to his subject matter, shooting style and sheer nerve. La Marge might be among the easiest opening to his film world, but perhaps not the most ideal as it is so different from his other work. La Marge, in a way, can be viewed as Borowczyk’s last effort to really score a hit with an almost mainstream film. It was based on a well known novel by Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues (whose work Borowczyk would film five times), it would be scored with some of the seventies biggest musical acts (including 10cc, Elton John and Pink Floyd) and it would star an actress who two years before had become the biggest box office draw in French cinema, Sylvia Kristel.