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Jean Eustache

March 9 to March 17

The giants of film history that defined the cinema-changing Nouvelle Vague were undeniable: Godard, Truffaut, Varda, Demy, Chabrol. But the generation of filmmakers who followed them—children of May ’68—produced movies as provocative and thrilling as anything seen in any film epoch: Chantal Akerman, Benoit Jacquot, Jacques Doillon, Philippe Garrel, and in an orbit all his own, Jean Eustache. The brilliant Eustache, an electrician and construction worker turned director, made intellectually searching, unpredictable films that uncovered sharp and raw truths about human nature, and which were as attuned to the landscape and people of the Southern provinces where he grew up as the contemporary youth movements of Paris that were capturing the imagination of his peers. His most towering work, The Mother and the Whore (1973), is a rightfully beloved epic of generational angst, but his entire oeuvre—narratives, experimental documentaries, essay films, and interviews—collected here for the first time in New York in over a decade, evinces a mastery of the form, an idiosyncratic, naturalistic humor, and an inquisitive artistic nature.

Presented with support from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Institut Français. Special thanks to Amélie Garin Davet, Mathieu Fournet, and Françoise Lebrun. Travel for Francoise Lebrun courtesy of Air France. Photo from the collection of the Austrian Film Museum.

Previously Screened