Tag Archives: Philippe Garrel

Philippe Garrel – Un Ange Passe (1975)

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 »

Philippe Garrel – La Frontière de l’aube AKA Frontier of the Dawn (2008)

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 »

Philippe Garrel – Le vent de la nuit aka Night Wind (1999)

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 »

Philippe Garrel – La naissance de l’amour AKA The birth of love (1993)


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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 »

Philippe Garrel – Les ministères de l’art (1989)


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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Philippe Garrel – Le Coeur fantome AKA The Phantom Heart (1996)


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A hangdog, middle-aged painter falls in love with a tender young college student after he leaves his philandering wife and his children in this romantic French drama. To console himself, the fundamentally bohemian Phillippe finds comfort in the arms of various prostitutes, especially Valeria. It is while searching for her that he meets lovely Justine, the student. Sparks fly and they move into together. Things go well until Phillippe begins pining for his children. This makes insecure Justine terribly jealous and tumult erupts until the aging artist is able to discover the true source of his anxieties. Read More »

Philippe Garrel – J’entends plus la guitare AKA I Don’t Hear the Guitar Anymore (1991)


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Review by Alice Liddel

“J’entends plus la guitare” is dedicated to the memory of Nico, the Swedish model and actress who was director Garrel’s muse, most famous as the blonde Marcello meets at the castle party in “La Dolce Vita”, and the singer with the haunted monotone on the Velvet Underground’s extraordinary “Banana” album. the heroine of the film is a blonde German who, like Nico, turns to drugs – her last appearance is marked by a pun on heroine/heroin (the Velvets’ most famous song), and the Velvet-esque guitar of the title is no longer heard by the hero, or the director. The female is usually signalled in Garrel’s films by music, as if music itself was somehow a feminine principle – the “Je”, therefore, is plausibly the director’s, offering the film as a mea culpa, blaming himself for a death triggered by pure male egotism. Gerard is one of the least likeable characters in European cinema, an emotional vampire who needs to suck the emotional blood out of countless women, leaving them diminished, empty, to save himself from a similar fate Read More »