3 SHORT FILMS - THE SPIRIT OF THE FRENCH NEW WAVE
Let's be straight: the short films we are showing tonight are very special.
It is not an exaggeration to say that they are hardly ever shown in the UK, and they are pretty hard to find.
The very first films of Eric Rohmer, these short films were made at the time when the French New Wave was being made, a time when Eric Rohmer and the other directors of the movement wanted to bring radical changes to cinema.
Made cheaply but full of inspiration, it is fascinating to see these short films, first steps of a director who was going to become "one of the most extraordinary directorial careers in the history of cinema"- accoridng to the very respected magazine SIGHT AND SOUND.
The films will also be accompanied by a discussion with a lecturer in French film from Newcastle University.
All the films will be shown on 35mm prints coming straight from Paris just for us, and just for tonight!
Suzanne's Career (1963, 54min, part of a series of 6 films called "Moral Tales")
"La Carriere de Suzanne" - "wonderfully evocative portrait of youthful naiveté" - THE CRITERION COLLECTION
The Bakery Girl of Monceau (1963, 29 min, part of a series of 6 films called "Moral Tales")
"La boulangere de Monceau", France, , starring Barbet Shroeder, who was later going to produce a lot of Rohmer's films
Charlotte and her Steak (1960, 12 min)
"Charlotte et son steak", France, featuring Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina, two legends of the French New Wave
The Bakery Girl of Monceau (1963, 29 min)
"Simple, delicate, and jazzy, the first of the Moral Tales shows the stirrings of what would become the Eric Rohmer style: unfussy naturalistic shooting, ironic first-person voice-over, and the image of the woman. A law student (played by producer and future director Barbet Schroeder) with a roving eye and a large appetite stuffs himself full of sugar cookies and pastries daily in order to garner the attentions of the pretty brunette who works in a quaint Paris bakery. But is he truly interested, or is she just a sweet diversion?" - TEXT FROM THE CRITERION COLLECTION
"Rohmer authority C.G. Crisp has claimed that this almost unknown work may be the best of the director’s celebrated six Moral Tales" - ONTARIO CINEMATHEQUE
Suzanne's Career (1963, 54min)
"Bertrand bides his time in a casually hostile and envious friendship with college chum Guillaume. But when ladies’ man Guillaume seems to be making a play for the spirited, independent Suzanne, Bertrand watches bitterly with disapproval and jealousy. With its ragged black-and-white 16mm photography and strong sense of 1960s Paris, Rohmer’s second Moral Tale is a wonderfully evocative portrait of youthful naiveté and the complicated bonds of friendship and romance."
TEXT FROM THE CRITERION COLLECTION
Charlotte and her Steak (1960, 12 min)
The Bakery Girl of Monceau, and Suzanne's career, are part of a series of 6 films that Rohmer called "Moral Tales".
The 6 films are based on the same story line:
"A man falls in love with a woman, thereby forming a commitment, either in fact or in principle, and then must navigate safe passage through sexual temptation by relying on (and sometimes discovering) his moral code, proving himself worthy of that love." - from the BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE
"Rohmer's brand of morality is subjective and non-judgemental; his characters include students and petits bourgeois and the idle rich, Catholics and atheists, singles and marrieds-with-children, and their standards vary. The point is "to thine own self be true" as the series depicts the ways in which thoughtful people can meet themselves in the mazes of their own stratagems, and how their true selves are sometimes at odds with the people they think they are or aspire to be." - BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE
These films are all based on the story of the incredible silent film Dawn, from Murnau (the German Director of Nosferatu). If you haven't seen that film by the way - you should - a pure gem.
The other films part of the series of the "Moral Tales" are: La Collectionneuse, My Night at Maud's (showing here on the 9 July), Claire's Knee (showing on 12 July), and Love in the Afternoon.
Tonight, we are very happy to announce that Sarah Leahy, lecturer in French at Newcastle University, will be present to introduce the films. She will also take part in a discussion with the audience after the film.
VERY SPECIAL NIGHT!
The films will be shown on 35mm - and the prints are coming from Paris, just for tonight, and just for the Star and Shadow Cinema! These films are hardly ever shown in the UK - this is an exceptional opportunity to see them, especially on a big screen! The films are being sent by the audiovisual branch of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and we are very grateful for their support.
THESE FILMS ARE BEING SHOWN AS PART OF THE SEASON:THE UNDERDOG OF THE FRENCH NEW WAVE: ERIC ROHMER FILM SEASON (14 JUNE - 12 JULY)
2009 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most significant movements in the history of cinema, the French New Wave. To celebrate, we have decided to run a season of films from one of the lesser known great filmmakers of this revolutionary movement: Eric Rohmer.
"One of the most extraordinary directorial careers in the history of cinema" - SIGHT AND SOUND
"One of the great classical artists of the last half-century" - THE INDEPENDENT
14 Jun 2009, 7:30 p.m.
"A surprising yet subtly fitting coda to one of the most extraordinary directorial careers in the history of cinema" - SIGHT AND SOUND
1 Jul 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Absolute masterpiece and great commercial success, the film tells the story of a man being tempted by a young woman and her knee…
9 Jul 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Nominated for 2 Oscars and officially selected at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
12 Jul 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, "Pauline at the Beach is another rare Rohmer treat.” – The New York Times