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The Parallel Worlds of Olivier Assayas

MUBI Special

With his new film Non-Fiction now in theatres, we are spotlighting the globetrotting cinema of French director Olivier Assayas. Whether making a drama about a wealthy French family (Summer Hours), a techno-thriller (demonlover), a historical film about a terrorist (Carlos), a memoir of his youth (Something in the Air), or a concert documentary (Noise), Assayas excels at creating a dynamic cinematic world from which springs diverse and electric stories, genres, settings, and characters.

Something in the Air

Olivier Assayas France, 2012

Concluding our retrospective of France’s post-punk auteur is this rear-view look at the aftermath of May 1968—a political moment which is of essence to much of Assayas’s cinema. Something in the Air is a poignant portrait of a generation in mourning, coming-of-age in the face of failed revolution.

Carlos

Olivier Assayas France, 2010

Intrepidly demythologizing the terrorist-celebrity Carlos the Jackal, Olivier Assayas’s political thriller is a stunning hybrid: disentangling complicated geopolitical ideas while skillfully steering a number of enthralling, action-packed set-pieces. And all to a dynamite punk 80s soundtrack!

Noise

Olivier Assayas France, 2006

A rarity in Assayas’ filmography, Noise finds the director, whose cinema has always been vividly linked to the ecstasies of pop music, turn his lens upon a hypnotic concert. Performances from Sonic Youth, Metric, Jeanne Balibar, and more align to compose a testament to the beauty of dissonance.

Demonlover

Olivier Assayas France, 2002

Olivier Assayas’s demonlover burrows behind the gentle bourgeois milieu shown in his film Summer Hours to reveal the sinister grip global capitalism has on the world. A truly modern thriller, this provocative techno-noir is one of the director’s boldest films, a cult classic ahead of its time.

Summer Hours

Olivier Assayas France, 2008

With his new film, Non-Fiction, in theaters, we’re spotlighting the films of Olivier Assayas. His cinema covers a diverse range of genres and milieus, collectively transforming modern anxieties into engrossing drama. In this wonderful, warm tale, family traditions are challenged by new attitudes.

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