A brash and precocious eleven-year-old (Catherine Demongeot) comes to Paris for a whirlwind weekend with her rakish uncle (Philippe Noiret); he and the viewer get more than they bargained for in this anarchic comedy from Louis Malle, which treats the City of Light as though it were a pleasure island just waiting to be destroyed. Based on a popular novel by Raymond Queneau that had been considered unadaptable, Malle’s audacious hit Zazie dans le métro is a bit of stream-of-conscious slapstick, wall-to-wall with visual gags, editing tricks, and effects, and made with flair on the cusp of the French New Wave. –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
Malle one-ups the colour and anarchy of Tati, not only through the manic occurrences in his frame but in the free-form methodology and vigour in which he frames them: uncoupled dollies, fast-forwards and a breakneck speed, building an unhinged sense of comedy (Nouveau Slapstick, rather), life and charm. Or, what happens when a budding director and an impish child - as well as the overgrown ones - are let loose onto the streets with a camera, in the vein of Man with a Movie Camera - Paris their playground, the Eiffel Tower their jungle gym.
A look at the process that led to the poster for the new Zvyagintsev and its designer’s selection of his favorite movie posters of all-time.
The Carl Theodor Dreyer retrospective at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley has been going on since the beginning of the month and runs
Gary Morris takes us by the hand and leads us into the new issue of Bright Lights Film Journal: "This issue, #70, with a mere 26 articles
If the French New Wave was all about obliterating boundaries, giddily breaking rules, and redefining the elements that constitute a film, then Zazie dans le Métro is perhaps the defining French… read review