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I Don't Like You Either: A Pialat Retrospective

MUBI Special

Maurice Pialat, the greatest Anti-New Wave French filmmaker, won his first and only Palme d’Or for the controversial Under the Sun of Satan in 1987. The decision was apparently unanimous among the Jury, however, he was booed by the audience, which prompted a proudly defiant acceptance speech:

“I shall not fail to uphold my reputation. I am particularly pleased by all the protests and whistles directed at me this evening, and if you do not like me, I can say that I do not like you either.”

Pialat was indeed known for his misanthropy, and his films embody all that rage against the meaninglessness of the world, the pain inflicted by perpetual dissatisfaction, and the rawness of the emotions that can’t be controlled. But his cinema is also full of beauty, warmth and freedom, and boasts a candid, everlasting spark of authenticity—it ultimately has the rare quality of being hostile and inviting in equal measure. Pialat is often compared to John Cassavetes, and his influence has been recognised by modern masters such as Arnaud Desplechin, Leos Carax, Philippe Garrel or Chantal Akerman. But these are all lines that we need to draw in our attempt to frame the unframable: a truly wild filmmaker, extraordinary and unique. We’re immensely proud to present this retrospective, a celebration of his vision including most of his uncompromising masterpieces. Let this be our love letter to the man who didn’t want to be loved.

Van Gogh

Maurice Pialat France, 1991

Pialat is often considered Cassavetes’ brother in arms for envisioning dramatic cinema as founded in the irascible, unpredictable turmoil of life. A painter himself, this is an impressionistic, textured yet austere work—many films have been made about the genius of Van Gogh, but none better this.

Under the Sun of Satan

Maurice Pialat France, 1987

Pialat won a hotly contested Palme d’Or at Cannes (an episode that gives title to this retrospective) for this extraordinary drama of spirituality in a cold world. By turns calm and violent, it’s left an indelible mark ever since its premiere. A controversial masterwork by a controversial genius.

À nos amours

Maurice Pialat France, 1983

Introducing one of French cinema’s great actresses: Sandrine Bonnaire. If you don’t know Sandrine, she made her capriciously charming debut in Maurice Pialat’s vividly emotional, unforgettable teenage drama. If you know her, then you love her, and this is one of your favourite films—as it is ours.

Loulou

Maurice Pialat France, 1980

Arguably peak Pialat, the film’s dynamite pairing of Isabelle Huppert & Gerard Depardieu — juxtapositioning her cerebral stare and his physical presence — sets up this austere portrait of youth, a taboo two-hander with a constant class consciousness.

Graduate First

Maurice Pialat France, 1979

The rebellious spirit of Pialat’s œuvre finds a particular poignancy in his young characters—like the teens in Graduate First, who seem to be engulfed by indifference, in denial of the gloomy future ahead of them. This is an unassuming yet definitive generational portrait of outstanding veracity.

We Won't Grow Old Together

Maurice Pialat France, 1972

We’re immensely proud to present I Don’t Like You Either, a close-up on Pialat’s work and a celebration of his uncompromising vision. His volatile dramas of prickly, tumultuous emotions are utterly unique, like this portrait of an on-again, off-again affair—a shrewd challenge, powerfully rewarding.

Life is too short for bad films

Every day we hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have a whole month to watch it, so there’s always 30 perfectly curated films to discover.