The first feature film by the legendary filmmaker Jean Eustache (THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE) consists largely of a straightforward, unadorned interview with his grandmother, who gives a passionate account of her lurid past – the wars she survived, the babies she lost, and the husband accused of pedophilia. Eustache considered the film a jumping-off point for his later work (hence the title). But while a truncated version of the film (entitled ODETTE ROBERT) was exhibited on French TV in the 70s, the longer original version was not screened publicly until 2003, nearly twenty years after Eustache’s death. —Anthology Film Archives
Filmmaker, screenwriter Jean Eustache had a brief but important career in French cinema. His best-known film was 1973’s Mother and the Whore, an intense character study credited for marking a new phase in French filmmaking. He got his start as a director assisting such New Wave filmmakers as Godard during the 1960s. In the late ’60s, he launched his own directorial career with two features. While they garnered some acclaim, it was not until Mother and the Whore, his third feature, that the full depth of his talent and sensitivity was recognized. The film won the Grand Prix and the International Critics Award at Cannes. Through the 1970s, Eustache made several films for television and then made one last feature in 1975, Mes Petites Amoureuses. Eustache committed suicide in the early 1980s.—allmovie guide
First ever English translation of a remarkable interview with Jean Eustache for the La Revue du Cinéma, May 1971.
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