Au revoir les enfants tells a heartbreaking story of friendship and devastating loss between two boys living in Nazi-occupied France. At a provincial Catholic boarding school, the precocious youths enjoy true camaraderie—until a secret is revealed. Based on events from writer-director Louis Malle’s own childhood, the film is a subtle, precisely observed tale of courage, cowardice, and tragic awakening. —The Criterion Collection
Louis Malle (born October 30, 1932, Thumeries, France—died November 23, 1995, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.) French motion-picture director whose eclectic films were noted for their emotional realism and stylistic simplicity.
Malle’s wealthy family resisted his early interest in film but allowed him to enter the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies in Paris in 1950. After studying at the institute, he worked as an assistant to filmmaker Robert Bresson and codirected the documentary Le Monde du silence (1956; The Silent World) with underwater explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Malle’s first feature film, Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (1957; Frantic), was a psychological thriller. His second, Les Amants (1958; The Lovers), was a commercial success and established Malle and its star, Jeanne Moreau, in the film industry. The film’s lyrical love scenes, tracked with exquisite timing, exhibit Malle’s typically bold and uninhibited treatment of sensual themes. Social alienation… read more
CC#330: Finding a midpoint between the carefree awakening of Le souffle au coeur and estrangement of Lacombe Lucien, Goodbye Children (tellingly titled) arises a sobering summation of boyhood camaraderie, reflecting its autobiographic origins (oppression stemming from religion and war) and in being revived from the eyes of an older filmmaker. No longer callow but full of grace, its sensitivity belays the late elegy, though not before its final scenes (conducive to Chaplin and the cinema, onwards) present a beacon of fleeting rapport.
Malle’s reminiscence of his childhood in occupied France and the strange new kid at his Catholic boarding school. Beautifully filmed in muted blues, greens and greys (much preferable to the yellow… read review
For most of this movie, I was wondering what would be so charming about the plot if the whole thing were in English, because sometimes I feel like some movies have a romantic appeal simply because… read review
(Wednesday, January 20, 2010 12:00am)
One of the finest films about childhood’s deprivation. Two friends that showed courage and affection with each other and the warmness of this film describes… read review