After the generational upheaval of May ’68 and its aftermath, and the personal upheavals of drug addiction, depression, and shock therapy, Garrel made the conscious decision to turn away from the increasingly private poetry of his earlier work, at the center of which was his great love Nico. He turned to the great screenwriter Annette Wadamant, who helped him to organize his thoughts into a narrative of “things that happened to me,” and the result was this spare, elemental, devastating film about two damaged souls (Henri de Maublanc and Anne Wiazemsky) trying to build a life together as her child (Xuan Lindenmeyer) is taken away. As Serge Daney wrote, “It’s as if this autobiographical film has succeeded in holding its bearings without forgetting the trace of each stage of the journey it’s passed through.” Read More »
a title with a comma in the middle for a film divided in two parts. A film in black and white with a dark side and a jovial side. The first part of the title evokes politics, as the story recalls the days of the Algerian War of Independence; the second part represents the mood that hovers over the eminently painful images. There isn’t even a hint of daylight in the freedom of the title. It only lives metaphorically in the darkness and languor of the night. — description by Violeta Kovacsics in the book “Philippe Garrel: Filmmaking Revealed” Read More »
Un Ange Passe is a portrait of Philippe Garrel’s father, Maurice. “I made it so it didn’t cost too much. I made it very quickly. It turned out to be a film that looked exactly like it costs — it was industrially just right. But it was also useful to do to show love to my father.” —Philippe Garrel Read More »
Love is a universe of two in Philippe Garrel’s fatalistic romance “Frontier of Dawn.” Shot in richly textured and contrasting black-and-white celluloid, it centers on a young photographer, François (Louis Garrel, the filmmaker’s son), and the two women with whom he finds and loses love. After his affair ends with Carole (Laura Smet), a famous actress given to flare-ups and meltdowns, he immerses himself in a new life with Eve (Clémentine Poidatz), who promises him a child and perhaps a chance at real happiness. There’s more, including madness, electroshock treatment, a discussion about the cost of baby diapers, and the sudden emergence of a ghost in a mirror, all of which Mr. Garrel connects so loosely that they feel more like moments out of time than narrative fragments. — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times Read More »
Le Vent de la Nuit bears little resemblance to the first film in our series, Les Amants Réguliers, made only six years later. The latter, with its rich, fathomless depths of black-and-white photography and insular, period setting stands in stark relief to the former’s auburn-tinged, deep-focus, wide-angle lensing of modern-day Paris, Naples and Berlin. Even so, Le Vent is unmistakably a film by Philippe Garrel, with its deliberate pacing, recurring themes of bitter regret, lost love and longing across generations and relentless focus on the emotional landscape of its three central characters, all which immediately connect it to his other work. Read More »
A dispassionate and bedraggled middle-aged actor named Paul (Lou Castel) bids a polite farewell to the lady of the house, Hélène (Dominique Reymond) before setting out into the street, accompanied by his solemn and equally impassive host Markus (Jean-Pierre Léaud) to the local convenience store to purchase a pack of cigarettes before saying goodbye to his old friend for the evening. Seeking to break the pensive silence of their evening walk, Paul steers their idle conversation into a conduit for personal reflection on Markus’ seemingly life-altering moment when he first met Hélène, a question that Markus – perhaps betraying an insecurity over the tenuous state of his relationship with her – responds to the question with initial, guarded skepticism, before proceeding to tell the genial anecdote of Hélène’s forwardness in her suggestive, inviting remark that had serve to validate their coy, thinly veiled pursuit of mutual seduction during their second encounter. However, a succeeding conversation between the couple reveals Hélène’s increasing apathy towards the cultivation of their relationship as Markus attempts to elicit a validation of her love for him to no avail, disguising their failed, awkward intimacy through the mundane rituals of the kitchen and random comments about the war. Read More »
Documentary on post-Nouvelle Vague directors with Benoît Jacquot, André Téchiné, Jacques Doillon, Chantal Akerman, Werner Schroeter, Juliette Berto, Leos Carax and footage of Jean Eustache.
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