If cinephiles speak about Moroccan-born, French filmmaker José Bénazéraf today, he’s remembered mostly for his prolific direct-to-video, increasingly hardcore output from the 1970s and 1980s. Not a terrible legacy, but few people remember that Bénazéraf started out on the fringes of the French New Wave: a cameo in Breathless is one of his first screen credits. This July, Spectacle is proud to present two under-appreciated 1960s crime films from Bénazéraf that straddle the line between French New Wave and sexploitation: NIGHT OF LUST and JOË CALIGULA.
Less salty than its title might suggest, NIGHT OF LUST is a New Wave noir set at a string of Parisian strip clubs. Hans Verner and Jean-Pierre Kalfon star as two rival gang leaders, both fighting to rule the Parisian drug trade. Laboratory assistant Nora (Yvonne Monlaur) comes between the two gangs, and pays the price by getting kidnapped and held as a hostage in the war. The stakes are high, and the consequences become higher and higher until tragedy cannot be avoided.
NIGHT OF LUST, Saturday, July 26
7:30pm at Spectacle Theatre, $5
124 South 3rd Street, Williamsburg