Jean Eustache – Du Côté De Robinson AKA Robinson’s Place (1963)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Eustache’s debut film follows two young men near the place de Clichy, looking for fun and whatever trouble comes with it. Unsurprisingly, their attention ultimately falls on a girl. They go to a dancing called “Robinson”. Spurned when she decides to go dancing with someone else, their thoughts quickly turn to revenge. Slowly, we discover the layer of despair that sits just under their carefree appearance. Continue reading

Jean Eustache – Le Père Noël a les yeux bleus AKA Santa Claus Has Blue Eyes (1966)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Le Père Noël a les yeux bleus
(Santa Claus Has Blue Eyes)
Jean Eustache, 1966. B&W. 47 min.
With Jean-Pierre Léaud, Gérard Zimmermann, Henri Martinez, René Gilson.

Daniel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) is desperate to buy a new duffle coat but has no money to do so. Taking a job as a street-corner Santa Claus, he begins to earn income and, more surprisingly, the attention of many young women taken with his costume. Eustache infuses Daniel (and his hometown of Narbonne, where the film takes place) with a keen sense of compassion. As always, daily reality is at the forefront: how Daniel spends his time, his efforts to meet girls, his attempts to make money. A wonderfully earthy film, and Eustache’s first major work. Continue reading

Jean Eustache – Les photos d’Alix AKA Alix’s Pictures (1980)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Photographer Alix Cléo-Roubaud shows her photos to a young man (Boris Eustache), talking about them as they look at them together. Each of the photos appears as a countershot. Yet after awhile, doubts emerge: we are not really seeing what is being described.

The penultimate film by Jean Eustache, the French director famed for The Mother and the Whore (1973), is Les Photos d’Alix (1980). It’s an 18-minute, 35-mm color film in which we see a photographer—Alix Cléo-Roubaud—showing her photographs to a young man (Eustache’s 20-year-old son Boris). As they work their way through a stack of black-and-white prints, the young man asks brief questions and Roubaud tells him where and how each photograph was made and what her intentions were, what interested her about the images. The photos often feature double exposures and other darkroom techniques (solarizing, masking, dodging, burning). In one of a man lying on a bed, the photographer has used a supplemental exposure to stretch the curving, old-fashioned headboard into a strange sinuous shadow. Another dreamlike images shows a bare-chested man floating in an expanse of milky white light. Later we see a landscape divided by nested rectangular zones of light and darkness created during the printing process. Continue reading

Abdellatif Kechiche – L’esquive AKA Games of Love and Chance (2003)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

the film presents a group of kids – mostly of arab descent – in the “cit?s” (us= projects) who stage the marivaux play of the same name.

at the Istanbul International Film Festival/, it also took the international critics’ prize and a special jury prize for the ensemble acting. Kechiche was awarded a special jury prize at the European Film Awards for his first feature, La faute ? Voltaire (also highly recomended, if you can find it.)

someone at imdb writes: This movie is getting fresh exposure in France thanks to its win at Les C?sars, or the “French Oscars” as other countries like to call them. Its success will probably mean that it now gets exposure outside the country, too, and I wonder how successfully. Continue reading

Abdellatif Kechiche – Vénus noire (2010)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

SynopsisIn his unforgettable telling of the short, deplorable existence of the “Hottentot Venus”—née Saartjie Baartman, a slave from Cape Town who was exhibited as a freak-show attraction in early 19th-century Europe—Abdellatif Kechiche (The Secret of the Grain) delivers a riveting examination of racism.Gawked at and groped in grimy carnivals in London and, later, high-society Parisian salons, Baartman soon becomes the object of prurient fascination of French scientists, obsessed with calibrating every part of her anatomy—particularly her enlarged buttocks and genitals. Though Baartman’s life was unspeakably grim, Yahima Torres’s remarkably complex portrayal of the title character reveals not just a mute symbol of victimhood but also a woman capable of fierce defiance. North American Premiere. Continue reading