COUP DE TÊTE
(aka HOTHEAD)
Dir: Jean-Jacques Annaud, 1979.
89 min. France.
In French with English subtitles.

SATURDAY, MARCH 2ND - 10PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 12TH - 7:30PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 26TH - 10PM

In the aftermath of Penn State and Steubenville, there’s no better time to dust off the ferocious sports satire COUP DE TÊTE - French for “headbutt." Patrick Deweare (Alain Corneau’s SERIE NOIR) stars as Perrin, a combustible factory worker who plays in his small town’s soccer league.

After committing a foul against another player, he’s swiftly dismissed from his job by the fatcats who own both the team and the plant. Perrin raises an inevitable stink that sees him, on the worst night of his life, framed for the rape of a wealthy young woman and locked up in prison. But after the team’s other players are injured in a spectacularly dumb bus accident, the corporate owners roll the dice and release Perrin to play in a Big Game. Watching his athletic reputation grow to eclipse his criminal standing, Perrin realizes the hypocrisy of the town’s “dickhead” high-rollers and football fanatics, and vengeance is his - with cruel, hilarious results.

The only film of Jean-Jacques Annaud (THE BEAR, QUEST FOR FIRE) to address French culture proper, COUP DE TÊTE is a nailbiting experience: a high-stakes comedy with a bitter skeptical streak. The whole thing rests on the shoulders of Dewaere, an unsung hero of French cinema who ended his own life a mere three years after the film’s release. His mangy, rambunctious performance calls to mind Jerry Lewis or Klaus Kinski, aided and abetted by an unstoppably catchy theme song by Pierre Bachelet.

Trailer by Steve Macfarlane

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