As France is nearing the end of the first Indochina War, an open-minded teenage boy finds himself torn between a rebellious urge to discover love, and the ever-present, almost dominating affection of his beloved mother. Read More »
Malle’s first feature, a straightforward but classy thriller about an ex-paratrooper’s attempt to dispose of his mistress’ tycoon husband in a perfect murder. It became associated with the early excitements of the nouvelle vague mainly through the performances of Ronet (playing a prototype of the disgruntled Vietnam veteran) and Moreau (who does some moody solo wandering in the streets searching for her missing lover). The ingenious plot, using a malfunctioning lift as its deus-ex-machina, has one carefully plotted murder conjure another as its shadow image. But the cement holding the film together is really the splendid jazz score improvised by Miles Davis. Read More »
Malle later said that the film was his most personal work and the one he was most proud of, it is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of his career. It was initially inspired by a two-month trip to India in late 1967 that Malle made on behalf of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to present a selection of “new French cinema” throughout the country. Filming took place between January 5, 1968 and May 1, 1968 with a crew of two, a cameraman and a sound recordist. Malle arrived in India with no particular plans and financed the trip himself. The resulting 30 hours of footage was then edited down to the 363 minutes of Phantom India. The 105-minute long Calcutta used the footage he had recorded over his three-week stay in that city. Phantom India was shown on French television and the BBC in the UK in 1969. Many British Indians and the Indian Government felt that Malle had shown a one-sided portrait of India, focussing on the impoverished, rather than the developing, parts of the country. A diplomatic incident occurred when the Indian government asked the BBC to stop broadcasting the programme. The BBC refused and were briefly asked to leave their New Delhi bureau. Read More »
In 1917, in the red light district Storyville, New Orleans, the prostitute Hattie lives with her twelve year-old daughter Violet in the fancy brothel of Madame Nell, where she works. Photographer Ernest J. Bellocq has an attraction to Hallie and Violet and he is an habitué of the whorehouse. One day, Madame Nell auctions Violet’s virginity and the winner pays the fortune of US$ 400 to spend the night with the girl. Then Hattie marries a wealthy client and moves to Saint Louis, leaving Violet in the brothel alone. Violet decides to marry Bellocq and she moves to his house. Until the day that Hattie, who has overcome her past, comes to Bellocq’s house with the intention to take Violet with her. Read More »
Louis Malle meets Lewis Carroll in this bizarre and bewitching trip down the rabbit hole. After skirting the horrors of a mysterious war being waged in the countryside, beautiful young Lily (Cathryn Harrison) takes refuge in a remote farmhouse, where she becomes embroiled in the surreal domestic life of an extremely unconventional family. Evocatively shot by cinematographer Sven Nykvist, Black Moon is a Freudian tale of adolescent sexuality set in a postapocalyptic world of shifting identities and talking animals. It is one of Malle’s most experimental films and a cinematic daydream like no other.
— Criterion Collection. Read More »
Laurent Chevalier, a 14-year-old boy, saw his mother as the closest friend. The two of them went to a mountain resort. Clara Chevalier flirted with one of the hotel guests, her son met girls of the same age. However, on the holiday and Laurent, and his mother were left without companions … Read More »
In Paris around 1900, Georges Randal is brought up by his wealthy uncle, who steals his inheritance. Georges hopes to marry his cousin Charlotte, but his uncle arranges for her to marry a rich neighbour. As an act of revenge, Georges steals the fiance’s family jewels, and enjoys the experience so much that he embarks upon a life-time of burglary. Read More »