Jean (Jean Yanne) and Catherine (Marlène Jobert) are a couple whose every move charts an advancement deeper into an emotional warzone. Theirs is the classic and the tragic case of an emotional abuse centred around a perplexing, but powerful, interdependency. As the moment approaches wherein the relationship can no longer perpetuate its cycle of weekend holidays, apologies, and submissions, Maurice Pialat discloses all the ways in which the future might be at once liberated, and enslaved, by the past.
Based on a novel by Pialat himself, and on the trauma of his own personal life in the years leading up to the film, Nous ne vieillirons pas ensemble was a smash-hit at the time of its release, and retains its power up to the present day. —Eureka Entertainment
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
Pialat continues to shine for me as a director, a director of realistic drama for most of his work which actually feels real and drawn from the conflicting emotions that are felt by real people. Here someone that you would usually hate is allowed to have a soul while not being defended for his actions, and the situations and thoughts felt by all the characters are effecting. Pialat is blunt, cuts down any hesitation in showing the nastier side of people, but is a true humanist who cares.
Bitter love and sweet cruelty on dialogues: the boat scene (she sure looks beautiful in that frontal shot, specially when he says he had never loved her), the green beans scene (male psychology from Dreyer's Ordet to Hitchcock's Psycho), the café scene (that plain, direct "je ne te toucherais plus jamais comme ça?"). I keep to myself that no one better than french directors can film beaches in such a melancholic way.
If L’enfance nue was Pialat’s 400 Blows, then his sophomore feature is his Bed and Board. Depicting a turbulent, rollercoaster relationship in its final autumn, its unlikeable protagonist - movingly brought to life - only makes the drama all the more painful to watch. Pialat’s presence leads to another compelling aesthetic.
"Breaking up is hard to do," Neal Sedaka once sang, in syrupy tones. Just how hard it is to do is the subject unrelentingly dissected by writer