Legendary director Bertrand Tavernier takes us on a journey through French film noir, including such 1950s and 60s classics as ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS (with a Miles Davis jazz score) and such rarities as GATES OF THE NIGHT.
These French crime thrillers star such heavyweights of French cinema as Jean Gabin, Jeanne Moreau, Yves Montand, Simone Signoret and include THE PROUD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, which was adapted from a Jean-Paul Sartre play.
Beyond his collaborations with legendary figures in French cinema (Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean-Luc Godard and Eric Rohmer), Bertrand Tavernier has evolved into arguably the most potent director-historian in the history of French cinema. His latest, A JOURNEY THROUGH FRENCH CINEMA, which opens our festival on Thursday, June 15, demonstrates a historical sweep that transcends the current received wisdom about the history of French film.
Co-presented by Midcentury Productions, with the support of the French Film & TV Office, French Consulate.
Among its many riches, Tavernier’s documentary provides new insight into French film noir, which actually preceded the shadow-soaked crime dramas and mysteries that emerged from post-war Hollywood. Our third annual series, also known as THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT, benefits from Tavernier’s unbridled enthusiasm for a still-misunderstood and largely hidden canon of films. With his sure touch, aided by Don Malcolm of Midcentury Productions, audiences will be taken a step further into this dark, gleaming world, where an intriguing blend of familiar names and totally unknown (but utterly fantastic) dark films will take them to places never seen before.
Tavernier’s interest in the maelstrom of filmmaking and politics, as captured in his 2002 epic about filmmaking during the Occupation era, SAFE CONDUCT, adds an extra edge to a stellar film lineup that jumps off from more familiar classics such as Jacques Becker’s CASQUE D’OR and Louis Malle’s ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS. Less familiar works from legendary star Jean Gabin (RAZZIA SUR LA CHNOUF and THE NIGHT AFFAIR) will illuminate the hidden corners of France’s most iconic actor.
In addition, the West Coast premiere of GATES OF THE NIGHT, Marcel Carné’s controversial follow-up to CHILDREN OF PARADISE, will surprise audiences with its nocturnal intensity, as well as providing a look at a very young Yves Montand. The lineup even extends into the 1960s (by which time American noir is already moribund) for the downright spooky LE MONTE-CHARGE, a sly variation on ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS that will keep you on the edge of your seat!
Series compiled by Bertrand Tavernier, Don Malcolm and Gwen Deglise. Program notes by Don Malcolm.
We are thrilled to welcome Bertrand Tavernier to the Aero Theatre!
More information: bit.ly/2qQPqh1