French Cinema

L’ image et le mot…

À Bout de Souffle (Breathless) – 1959


 “With Sergei Eisenstein`s Battleship Potemkin (1925) the most celebrated film ever made, and probably the more influential of the two, Jean-Luc Godard`s A bout de souffle–literally, “out of breath”; in the States, irrelevantly called Breathless-helped establish and define, for themselves and others, the nouvelle vague-the ripping movement that stormed French cinema, overthrowing the reigning ‘Tradition of Quality’ and its academic, refined, meticulously crafted objets d`art. The movement denoted freedom: freedom from the constraints of conventional, worked-through and tied-up narrative; freedom of personal expression; the freedom of roving and penetrating inquiry-and formally encompassing all these, a freedom of camera motion scarcely seen since Dziga Vertov took to the streets in the ‘20s to record the pulsating synergy of Soviet life.

These young upstarts drew inspiration from Renoir`s lifetime of personal expression, from Hollywood professionalism and (especially in screwball comedies, westerns and noirs) glints of anarchy, and from Rossellini`s use of camera-for instance, in Germany, Year Zero (1947)-as character, even the main character, rather than as mere observer. Theirs was another French Revolution, sweeping out such “royalists” as Autant-Lara and Clément, who at the time were enthroned as arbiters of filmmaking form and taste.”


January 30, 2008 Posted by | Les Années '50 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Orphée” by Jean Cocteau – 1950

Tout le film, aussi: v.youku, 95:03′ 

AVIS AUX CINÉPHILES               

Le contenu de la dernière partie a été CENSURÉ !              

Orphée [Jean Cocteau], film français en noir et blanc de Jean Cocteau, réalisé en 1950.Un Classique du Cinéma Français avec Jean Marais (top qualité !)       


“Audio Rorschach”     



“Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus Jean Cocteau’s film Orpheus was released in France in 1949. The actors include: Jean Marais (as Orpheus), Maria Casarès (as the Princess of Death), Marie Déa (as Eurydice), and François Périer (as Heurtibise). The film was written and directed by Jean Cocteau. The cinematography was by Nicolas Hayer, music by Georges Auric, and the film was produced by Emil Darbon.The film is based on the legend of Orpheus. Cocteau narrates an introduction to the film, in which he tells us that, according to legend, Orpheus was a remarkable singer. Orpheus was distracted by his own songs when his wife Eurydice died, and he then descended into Hades where he was reunited with her. They were allowed to leave Hades, on the condition that he not look back at her as they were leaving. But he looked back at her, and she was lost to him forever… Continue reading

January 17, 2008 Posted by | Fantastique, Les Années '50 | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuit et Brouillard, 1956

“Called the “greatest film of all time” by director Francois Truffaut, the documentary Night and Fog by Alain Resnais shows the holocaust tragedy in all its horror. Though only thirty minutes in length, the film is devastating in its impact, so approach with caution. Night and Fog refers to the arrival of prisoners in Auschwitz under the cover of darkness and also the ultimate failure of the Nazis at Nuremberg to take responsibility for it. Written by Jean Cayrol, a holocaust survivor, and poetically narrated by Michel Bouquet, its gruesome images seem like a surreal nightmare…

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January 17, 2008 Posted by | Documentaire Historique, L'Occupation au Cinéma, Les Années '50 | , , , , | Leave a comment