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Name: Dan Sallitt
Location: New York, New York, United States

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jean Eustache's Circle: French Institute, April 1-29, 2008

The French Institute, they of the horribly wrinkled screen, has sprung an impressive little retrospective on us with very little notice. Tuesdays in April will be devoted to Jean Eustache's Circle, with films by Eustache and other culturally related filmmakers. Most readers will probably be familiar with Eustache's devastating La Maman et la Putain (April 29 at 12:30 and 7 pm), which is not so rare these days that you have to watch it on that funhouse screen. But all five of the Eustache programs are excellent, though no two of them resemble each other enough for you to be able to predict what's coming next. I'm hoping that the French Institute's website is right about the documentary Le Cochon (April 22 at 4 and 9 pm) having English subtitles, as I don't believe it's ever screened here with translation - I have a feeling that we're going to get the unsubbed print, though. The non-Eustache selections are just as noteworthy: the best is probably Pialat's great L'enfance nue (April 15 at 12:30 and 7 pm), but the scarcest is Jacques Rozier's obscure Du côté d’Orouët (April 1 at 12:30 pm only).



Blogger Vadim said...

And if you've never seen Santa Claus Has Blue Eyes, try not to miss it - it's as great a movie about adolescence/20somethings in transition as I can think of, and a key piece of the Jean-Pierre Leaud puzzle.

March 22, 2008 6:31 PM  
Blogger Dan Sallitt said...

Yeah, it's really good. Interesting how all Eustache's fiction films feel so different in terms of style. Le Père Noël has a bit of early Godard or Truffaut to it; La Maman is more like Rohmer/Warhol; and Amoureuses makes one think of Bresson. And they're all autobiographical, I believe. What's common to all Eustache's work isn't so much a particular set of style characteristics as it is a sensibility of negotiation between style and subject.

March 23, 2008 11:04 AM  
Anonymous chris_wells said...

Wow, Dan, thanks for the heads-up! As someone who sadly had to miss the Walter Reade's Eustache series a few years back (and who's only ever seen THE MOTHER & THE WHORE), this comes as welcome news.

But what's up with the French Institute?! In addition to that terrible screen, they sure do a lousy job of promoting their events.

March 24, 2008 10:25 AM  
Blogger Dan Sallitt said...

Chris - I dunno, maybe the French Institute relies on their membership, and doesn't care much about building a bigger audience. There's usually no one in charge at the screenings to give feedback to, but a friend of mine complained about the screen (which has been screwed for maybe two years now), and whoever he spoke to didn't think it was a big deal. They do good programming on a regular basis, though - it's worth keeping their film calendar bookmarked.

March 24, 2008 8:32 PM  

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