Louis Malle’s critically acclaimed Murmur of the Heart gracefully combines elements of comedy, drama, and autobiography in a candid portrait of a precocious adolescent boy’s sexual maturation. Both shocking and deeply poignant, this is one of the finest coming-of-age films ever made. —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#328: Gregarious, discursive sexual awakening; jazz foremost in invoking the free spirit. Canonically, Malle’s Antoine Doinel: a mix of precociousness and regular pubescent prickery; innocence on the cusp of impudence. Simple, yet with such wonderfully authentic dynamics and endearingly corrosive generational recollection, rebellion - delivered within spotless print. Double up with Bertolucci’s La luna.
An Oedipal film that is somehow manages not to be appalling. The characters truly bring this film together.
This is a joyous movie, full of life and laughs, but also quite melancholy. Malle has a light touch, and he recalls Truffaut at the height of his career, but he has a style all his own. The events flow by fluidly, and there are just some sublime moments. And of course there's the great soundtrack. Laurent and Clara are great characters, I'll never forget them. Malle gives a whole new meaning to the word Freudian.