Tag Archives: Jean-Pierre Léaud

Aki Kaurismäki – I Hired a Contract Killer (1990)

Quote:
In this Finnish comedy, which features all-English dialogue and nary a Scandanavian in it, Henri Boulanger (Jean-Pierre Leaud), is a colorless English civil servant, who was given a speedy retirement when his agency was “privatized,” complete with a gold watch. His life is so barren that removing even the empty activities of his job makes it not worth living, so he attempts suicide by sticking his head in a gas oven – just as a gas service strike gets underway. Frustrated, he takes his savings from the bank and heads off to hire a contract killer to take his life from him. Then he really begins to enjoy life – so much so, that now he wants to avoid his imminent demise. —Clarke Fountain, Rovi Read More »

Jean Eustache – La maman et la putain (1973)

A few days of a dandyish French intellectual in his late 20s named Alexandre (Jean-Pierre Leaud), who’s living with and supported by his lover, Marie (Bernadette Lafont); she’s in her mid-30s and runs a small boutique. In the first scene he borrows a neighbor’s car and tracks down a former girlfriend, Gilberte (Isabelle Weingarten), who’s just started a new semester at the Sorbonne, and tries to persuade her to marry him, only to discover that she’s just agreed to marry someone else. (We and Alexandre briefly glimpse Gilberte with her husband, played by Eustache, toward the end of the film, in the liquor section of a department store.) After hanging out with an equally idle friend (Jacques Renard) at the Deux Magots cafe, Alexandre follows a young woman after she leaves a nearby table, asks for her phone number, and scores; the remainder of the film is devoted to his courting of her. Read More »

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

Quote:
The hard life of a young man in the provinces of France in the ’60s when you want to seduce girls or even just have a talk with them. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard – La chinoise [+commentary] (1967)

Synopsis:
Born in a decade of political turmoil, La Chinoise has become a cinematic marker for the significant historical events that surrounded its creation. Five Parisian students, their political awareness aroused by Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, envision an overthrow of Western governmental systems – which they aim to bring about through acts of terrorism. One of Godard’s most brilliant films of the 60s, its success lies in the rejection of traditional narrative techniques: it is a dialectical charade which is as disturbing as it is comical. Though criticised in its day as a political manipulation, La Chinoise has proven alarmingly prophetic and its impact on audiences during the late 60s is echoed amongst viewers today. Read More »

Agnès Varda – Jane B. par Agnès V. AKA Jane B. for Agnes V. (1988)

Quote:
There is a good theory that explains why Agnes Varda’s Jane B. for Agnes V. was never officially distributed in the United States. Apparently, the few distributors that saw it after Varda completed it in 1988 concluded that it was too abstract and therefore too risky to sign. So until recently, it had been screened only a few times at festivals and retrospectives. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard – Masculin féminin aka Masculine Feminine (1966)

A romance between young Parisians, shown through a series of vignettes. Read More »

François Truffaut – Antoine et Colette AKA Antoine and Colette (1962)

Synopsis:
This short film is the first segment of five in the multinational feature Love at Twenty (1962), all five segments on the theme of first adult love. After indulging in much delinquency in his youth, seventeen year old Antoine Doinel, having been provided opportunity to get out of that delinquent life, is now an upstanding member of society working for Philips Records, which allows him to indulge in his love of music. Read More »