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Les Grandes Ondes (A L’Ouest)

Switzerland | 2013 | 85 minutes | Lionel Baier

In 1974 a trio of unlikely colleagues are sent by VW bus to cover Swiss aid to poor countries for the radio, instead becoming swept up in Portugal’s Carnation Revolution.

June 4, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
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June 5, 2014
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It’s 1974, and a French-speaking Swiss radio crew has been dispatched to Portugal for a puff piece on Swiss philanthropy in the then-developing country. Vying for command of this fool’s errand are faltering feminist Julie (Valérie Donzelli), who’s been sleeping with the boss in hopes of getting a primetime slot for her women’s issues show, and Cauvin (La Comédie-Française vet Michel Vuillermoz), a weathered war reporter whose memory is as spotty as his Portuguese. Just when it seems their report is a total bust, fortune arrives in the form of Lisbon’s Carnation Revolution, sweeping the inhibited Swiss up in a sensational tide of political and sexual liberation—and the scoop of a lifetime. Perfectly capturing the buoyant spirit and aesthetics of 1970s comedies, Longwave’s screwball humor derives its heart from the actors’ warm and genial performances. Rousing Gershwin tunes and a script cleverly lined with deadpan jokes and nostalgic sight gags imbue the movie with irresistible energy.

Director Biography

Lionel Baier was born in 1975 in Lausanne into a Swiss family originating from Poland. Since 1992, he has been Programmer and Co-Manager of the Rex Cinema in Aubonne. He studied the Arts at the University of Lausanne from 1995 and 1999 and since 2002 he has been head of the film department at ECAL (Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne). In November 2009, he founded Bande à Part Films with film makers Ursula Meier, Frédéric Mermoud, and Jean-Stéphane Bron. He is also Vice President of the Swiss Film Archive.

Sponsored by Center for West European Studies, JACK-FM, Yelp

Director: Lionel Baier
Principal Cast: Valérie Donzelli, Michel Vuillermoz, Patrick Lapp, Francisco Belard, Jean-Stéphane Bron
Country: Switzerland, France, Portugal
Year: 2013
Running Time: 85 minutes
Producer: Pauline Gygax, Max Karli, Lionel Baier, François d’Artemare, Philippe Martin, Maria Joao Mayer
Screenplay: Lionel Baier, Julien Bouissoux
Cinematographers: Patrick Lindenmaier
Editors: Pauline Gaillard
Music: Georges Gershwin
Website: Official Film Website
Filmography: Bon Vent Claude Goretta (Doc, 2011); Toulouse (2011); Low Cost (2010); Un Autre Homme (2008); Stealth (2006); Stupid Boy (2004); La Parade (Doc, 2001); Celui au Pasteur (Doc, 2000)
Language: French, Portuguese
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
International Sales: Films Boutique
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