Tag Archives: Maurice Pialat

Maurice Pialat – La maison des bois (1971)

Made in 1971 for French TV, the epic LA MAISON DES BOIS
comes from early in the Pialat’s belated
feature-filmmaking career. Rather like Loach’s DAYS OF
HOPE (Cinémathèque 2004) or Edgar Reisz’s HEIMAT
series, it begins in costume drama and an ethnographic
view of rural French life during World War One, and in
an apparently sentimental tale of war orphans. But
then it irises out from costume drama conventions into
the transcendental, exploring Pialat*s spiritual
themes, as well as the social dynamics, trauma and
collective experiences of war. Read More »

Maurice Pialat – L’amour existe aka Love Exists (1960)

A social commentary on post-war France’s urban developments. Read More »

Maurice Pialat – Janine (1962)

Janine (1962)

Two men are disappointed by women and united by a whore. Read More »

Alain Cavalier – Un Américain (1958)

An American sculptor settles in Paris, convinced that this city will be good for his work. However, to survive, he has to sell the New York Herald Tribune at night.

The assistant director on this film was Maurice Pialat. Read More »

Maurice Pialat – À nos amours aka To Our Loves (1983)

In a revelatory film debut, the dynamic, fresh-faced Sandrine Bonnaire plays Suzanne, a fifteen-year-old Parisian who embarks on a sexual rampage in an effort to separate herself from her overbearing, beloved father (played with astonishing magnetism by Pialat himself), ineffectual mother, and brutish brother. A tender character study that can erupt in startling violence, À nos amours is one of the high-water marks of eighties French cinema. Read More »

Maurice Pialat – Passe ton bac d’abord… aka Graduate first (1979)

The world sometimes seems divided into two camps: those who recall their teenage years as having been an exhilarating dream, and those who remember them as having been an infernal, nightmarish hell. So it might do to describe Passe ton bac d’abord… [Graduate First… / Pass Your Bac First…] as Maurice Pialat’s “The Best Years of Our Lives”, while bearing in mind all that such a description might suggest: an unsparing portrait of the era when the words ‘sixteen candles’ still might have first conjured the image of flames. Read More »

Maurice Pialat – La gueule ouverte AKA The Mouth Agape (1974)

Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote:
“Pialat’s third feature takes up a theme which, on the face of it, could not seem more uninviting: a middle-aged woman dying of cancer, and how this affects her husband and son. But what Pialat makes of this is so recognisable, embarrassing and moving – even, on occasion, funny – that he more than justifies his use of a forbidding subject. He has ideas about how emotions involving sex and death are intimately related – and about the clarity and lack of it that they shed on everything else, as son and father each go lusting after every woman in sight. He has ideas about cinema, too, and an expressive style that can encapsulate a lifetime of memories in a single shot. Without a trace of sentimentality or easy effect, this seemingly semi-autobiographical work is as intense in its way as The Mother and the Whore, and unforgettable.” Read More »