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When Night Is Falling

4.4 out of 5 stars 178 customer reviews

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(Feb 05, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Successful in her teaching job at a conservative religious college, Camille (Pascale Bussières) looked forward to marrying her adoring, minister boyfriend (Henry Czerny) and settling down to the conventions of family and career. But a chance encounter with a beautiful, irresistibly sensuous young female circus performer named Petra (Rachael Crawford) is about to transform Camille s predictable life into an electrifyingly erotic adventure.

Captivated by Petra s impulsive sexuality and passionately free spirit, Camille is drawn into a world whose existence she never dared imagined: A world of hypnotic sensuality, rapturous self-discovery and exquisite erotic pleasure.

Now, walking an emotional high-wire between the familiar past and the forbidden future, Camille must choose between the love she can t forget... and the desire she can t resist.

Amazon.com

Throughout Patricia Rozema’s third film, conservatives tangle with liberals, men with women, and heterosexuals with those of more fluid sexual persuasions. Surface tension aside, When Night Is Falling feels more personal than political. Camille (Pascale Bussières) teaches mythology at a Christian college in Toronto. Her fiancé, Martin (Henry Czerny, Clear and Present Danger), is a fellow theologian. Their superior, Reverend DeBoer (David Fox, The Saddest Music in the World), encourages them to marry. When Camille’s dog dies, she neglects to inform Martin. At a laundromat, she meets Petra (Rachael Crawford), a circus performer, who offers support. She also leaves her card, so Camille seeks her out, but when Petra makes a pass, she flees. Petra tries again, so Camille talks her into being friends, but mutual attraction proves too strong to resist. A simplistic reading suggests that the death of a pet can lead to experimentation, except Rozema (I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing) aims for a metaphorical reading rather than a literal one. Though the narrative isn't autobiographical, she also attended a Calvinist institution (the same one as writer/director Paul Schrader). It's a testament to her skill that the film feels so fresh, since the storyline echoes Lianna (the academic milieu) and anticipates Tipping the Velvet (the circus angle). It's also one of the more quotable same-sex love stories of the 1990s. As Martin tells Camille, "Maybe you can imagine more intoxicating options. That's okay--that's what imagination's for." To Rozema's heroine, however, fulfillment is for experiencing, not imagining. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Henry Czerny, Rachael Crawford, Pascale Bussières, Richard W. Farrell, Karyne Steben
  • Directors: Patricia Rozema
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: WOLFE VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: February 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Z27HJ0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,302 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "When Night Is Falling" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
I'll have to admit..I'm a lesbian trapped in a man's body!
Nothing is more enjoyable than to see a successful love relatioship between two women. Unfortunately, in movies (major and independents) nothing is more rare! I am so tired of self hating lesbian directors making movies about sick, twisted women behaving in self-destructive behavior!
Fortunately!!! This movie is not one!
A wonderfully acted, enjoyable LOVE STORY between a lesbian and a "convert to lesbianism". You might even say a convert to real love, after having a ho-hum relationship with a man- just because it's what's expected. Some of the story is kind of silly or quirky, but adds to the oddball character of the movie. American movies can be so tedious sometimes...foreign movies (especially Canadian ones), tend to take more chances and less car chases!
A BEAUTIFUL movie with incredible music to boot! The two sister trapeeze act during the love scene is worth the price of the movie...they are former Cirque du Soleil performers.
SOME ADVICE.........You can get this movie on DVD on some Canadian websites. The love scenes are extended and well worth buying the DVD for....Also, it is a MUCH better re-mastered copy with director's commentary.
The movie is funny in spots....very tender and passionate.....beautifully photographed....and the acting is first rate. One of my favorite lovestories...straight or lesbian.
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Format: DVD
From the first moment I saw previews of this movie while visiting Canada, I was enthralled by this film.

The gorgeous women, cinematography, quirky plot, and awesome love scenes swept me away and haven't seen anything that comes close to this GREAT film.

This film is about a college professor named Camille, who teaches mythology at a small religious college in Quebec. She's dating an up and coming professor who is on the fast track to become dean of the school. However, the female professor's life is forever changed when she ends up being comforted at a laundromat by a beautiful woman after her dog is killed. Very soon we see that the attraction between these two women cannot be denied and Camille has to decide whether to stay in her safe life with her boyfriend, or let passion (and repressed desire) take her wherever the tender and beautiful circus performer may lead her.

This is an absolute perfect movie.
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Format: DVD
I am so glad that Criterion picked up this film. The DVD came out late, well after the initial release of the video had disappeared. Recent showings on the LOGO network have rekindled some well deserved interest.

Most Lesbian films are just plain bad. With the rare exception of a film like Desert Hearts, they are mindless romps by undeveloped, self-absorbed characters. They always end in the bedroom, usually to a lush musical score, because the plot literally can't go anywhere else. This film is not only a good lesbian film but a beautiful, artistically rendered chronical of a quirky relationship between two very eccentric people. The cinematography alone makes it so visually compeling that you could watch it just for that. It has a fine rhythmic pacing and a color saturation reminiscent of David Lynch. The color filled Art Circus atmosphere that surrounds one character pops as it is interspered with the staid beiges and browns that paint the academic world of the other. One scene that intercuts a car headlight dancing across a bedroom wall, a circus act that uses bouncing lights behind a screen and one of the female leads making love to her boyfriend turns editing into an artform.
Well worth the price!
3 Comments 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Most Lesbian films are just plain bad. With the rare exception of a film like Desert Hearts, they are mindless romps by undeveloped characters. They always end in the bedroom, usually to a lush musical score, because the plot literally can't go anywhere else. This film is not only a good lesbian film but a beautiful, artistically rendered chronical of a quirky relationship between two very eccentric people. The cinematography alone makes it so visually compelling. It has a fine rhythmic pacing and a color saturation reminiscent of David Lynch. It is so good that you could enjoy it for that alone. One scene that intercuts a car headlight dancing across a wall, a circus act that uses bouncing lights behind a screen and a man and woman making love turns editing into an artform. The really sad thing about this film is that it took so long to come out on DVD that it lost its original audience. The release went largely unnoticed and the DVD promptly dissappeared from the marketplace. How sad when so many mindless films are still readily available. Hopefully someone will revive this beauty at a gay film fest and create a market for it again. I hope so.
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Format: VHS Tape
This film in my view is the best coming-out story that I've seen portrayed, since Desert Hearts. This viewer can take the role of any of the major characters and empathize. The actresses were convincing as lesbians.
The pain Martin felt personally and to his ego I felt, but all's fair in love. The issues and decisions that both Carmille and Petra had to make were realistically and tenderly portrayed. For example, Carmille's decision to follow her desire and heart or her decision to leave her okay life for a prospect shows a great deal of courage and spontaneity. Martin, I'm sure is a proponent of a bird in the hand philosophy.
And Petra's pursuit of Carmille was laudable for an individual who seemed so carefree to dare confront a woman so emerged in religion; a woman, who already has a man (What a dyke!).
The symbolism between christianity vs. circus life appeared a bit satanic for my taste; but it didn't distract from the movie. Instead it added to Carmille's journey of self-discovery from one end of the pendulum to the other. Both women were beautiful and sensual as disparate from sexy and provocative and as a woman I can appreciate that. Both women were able to make their respective characters come alive realistically.
I've watched this movie several times and there is no end in site. I'm a fan and looking for more from Patricia Rozema. Watching this moving more than once I can appreciate the time, effort, talent, detail and affection that she put into each character and each scene. She did a great job. This is a good movie.
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