Sophie and Gérard are a couple in the process of splitting up. Their son Antoine, aged three and a half, lives with his mother, with his father showing up from time to time in boisterous mood and bearing gifts. During a holiday on the Île Maurice, Gérard is particularly obnoxious and the couple part for good. In Paris, despite his heavy workload, his new relationship and the rows with his ex-wife, Gérard finds time to see Antoine when he comes out of school and takes him on motorbike rides. Watching his son grow older, Gérard feels he has never given or received so much love. –Locarno Film Festival
Once described as the true heir to Jean Renoir’s legacy, French filmmaker Maurice Pialat is noted for his brutal, insightful portraits of the less savory aspects of family life and French society, as well as for his ability to evoke unusually powerful and realistic performances from his actors regardless of their professional status. Pialat, who is known as one of his country’s more “difficult” directors due to both his subject matter and on-set clashes, was born in Puy-de-Dôme but raised in Paris after the age of three. He started out as a painter and jack-of-all-trades and did sporadic work as an actor. In the late ’50s, Pialat became fascinated with cinema, and he got his start making short films, notably Amour Existe (1961), which won a prize at the Venice Festival.
After spending much of the ‘60s working in French television, Pialat made his feature-film debut in 1968 with Naked Childhood, a cinema verité-style drama utilizing nonprofessional actors. A study… read more