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Maurice Pialat and the New French Realism

October-November 2019

A two-part exploration of an uncompromising director and the impact he’s made on recent French cinema and its actors.

Introduction by season programmer David Thompson

Maurice Pialat Season

Maurice Pialat

  • Maurice Pialat: Lust for Life

    Maurice Pialat: Lust for Life

    An illustrated introduction to the films of the great French director Maurice Pialat.

  • Pialat Shorts 1

    Pialat Shorts 1

    Pialat’s varied and quirky early short films encompass documentary and fiction.

  • Pialat Shorts 2

    Pialat Shorts 2

    Pialat’s painterly documentaries explore Istanbul and the south of France.

  • L’Enfance nue

    L’Enfance nue

    Pialat’s moving first feature, about an orphan child searching for a family.

  • La Maison des bois

    La Maison des bois (Parts 1-3)

    A rare opportunity for you to enjoy this remarkable TV series by Pialat, about French rural life during WWI.

  • La Maison des bois

    La Maison des bois (Parts 4 & 5)

    A rare opportunity for you to enjoy this remarkable TV series by Pialat, about French rural life during WWI.

  • La Maison des bois

    La Maison des bois (Parts 6 & 7)

    A rare opportunity for you to enjoy this remarkable TV series by Pialat, about French rural life during WWI.

  • Nous ne vieillirons pas ensemble

    Nous ne vieillirons pas ensemble

    An emotional, autobiographical drama from Pialat about a tempestuous love affair.

  • La Gueule ouverte

    La Gueule ouverte

    Pialat’s uncompromising and unforgettable film about a death in a family.

  • Passe ton bac d’abord

    Passe ton bac d’abord

    Pialat’s tender and droll look at teenagers becoming adults in provincial France.

  • Loulou

    Loulou

    Gerard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert star as unlikely lovers in this powerful drama.

  • À Nos amours

    À Nos amours

    Don’t miss Sandrine Bonnaire’s stunning debut as a promiscuous teenager in one of Pialat’s greatest films.

Sight & Sound Deep Focus: The New French Realism

  • C’est la vie: Pialat’s legacy and the New French Realism

    C’est la vie: Pialat’s legacy and the New French Realism

    Pialat’s work inspired so many French directors and actors who broke through in the 1990s – join us to explore why.

  • Sound and Fury

    Sound and Fury

    Brutal realism sits alongside moments of tender, poetic surrealism in Jean-Claude Brisseau’s film.

  • No Fear, No Die

    No Fear, No Die

    Claire Denis sets her moody second feature amid the subterranean world of cockfighting.

  • Savage Nights

    Savage Nights

    A promiscuous bisexual man wrestles with the burden of living with HIV in this touching, autobiographical film.

  • Wild Reeds

    Wild Reeds

    In the summer of 1962 we follow a group of schoolfriends as they learn about love at the brink of adulthood.

  • Cold Water

    Cold Water

    Olivier Assayas’s 1970s-set breakthrough captures the heady emotions and passions of youth.

  • A Single Girl

    A Single Girl

    We follow 19-year-old Valérie during her shift in a luxury hotel as she’s at a turning point in her life.

  • My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument

    My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument

    Desplechin’s bravura ensemble drama is an intimate epic about the intertwined relationships of a group of 20-30-somethings.

  • La Vie de Jésus

    La Vie de Jésus

    Don’t miss this stark, exhilarating and bracing portrait of marginalised youth.

  • À la Place du coeur

    À la Place du coeur

    A 1998 French adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk.

Introduction

Often linked stylistically to Ken Loach and John Cassavetes, Maurice Pialat (1925-2003) made films that are direct and totally unsentimental. Every scene he shot contains an emotional truth that grips the viewer. Though in person Pialat was famously cantankerous and difficult, his films are deeply tender and extremely moving. The miracle is that he frequently worked with major stars – Gérard Depardieu, Isabelle Huppert, Jacques Dutronc, and his great personal discovery, Sandrine Bonnaire – and appealed to a wide audience while refusing to make any concessions to the box office. And his special brand of realism was a huge influence on a subsequent generation of French directors, such as Cédric Kahn and Cyril Collard. This is the first complete Pialat retrospective ever held in Britain, and will include a rare screening of his once ‘lost’ masterwork, La Maison des bois.

David Thompson

WANT MORE?

See our Big Screen Classics screenings.

Coming in Dec: Police, Sous le soleil de Satan, Van Gogh and Le Garçu.

With special thanks to:

Afridiziak Theatre


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