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Mes cinéastes de chevet - Grémillon, Ophuls, Decoin, 

Bertrand Tavernier talks about three favorites ,Jean Grémillon,Max Ophuls and Henri Decoin .


Bertrand Tavernier


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Episode credited cast:
Bertrand Tavernier ... Himself - Host
André Marcon ... Récitant / Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Olivier Barrot Olivier Barrot ... Himself (archive footage)
Danielle Darrieux ... Herself (archive footage)
Jean Grémillon ... Himself (archive footage)
Christine Haas Christine Haas ... Herself (archive footage)
André Masson André Masson ... Himself (archive footage)
Marcel Ophüls ... Himself (archive footage) (as Marcel Ophuls)
Max Ophüls ... Himself (archive footage) (as Max Ophuls)
Denis Parent Denis Parent ... Himself (archive footage)
Charles Spaak Charles Spaak ... Himself (archive footage)
Annette Wademant Annette Wademant ... Herself (archive footage)


First part of Bertrand Tavernier 's "bedside" directors : Jean Grémillon , who did not get on well with the producers and whose career suffered accordingly ; Max Ophuls who hated static shots (one of his masterpieces is aptly called "La Ronde " (dance round).The longest part of the documentary is devoted to Henri Decoin,who is, along Clouzot and Duvivier,the master of the French Film Noir,and whose career has been too neglected. Written by dbdumonteil

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30 December 2017 (France) See more »

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Three more aces and more.....
2 December 2017 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

1)Jean Grémillon :Bertrand Tavernier fell in love with Grémillon 's cinema since he saw "Le Ciel Est A Vous" in a college art house society.Grémillon ,he tells us ,and so does Charles Spaak (archive) he had everything going for him but the producers ' approval :his career suffered accordingly and after the war ,he was only allowed three movies whereas he had so much to give!

BT focuses on the post 1939 career ,omitting the thirties (with the exception of "Dainah La Métisse " which featured a black doctor in 1931 (which American movie,he points out ,would have done the same at the time?)"Dainah" is certainly attractive ,but so are "Maldonne " (a silent movie in which social relatives ,one of his main subjects,are already present) the raving "Gardiens De Phare" ,"L'Etrange Monsieur Victor" and "Gueule D'Amour".

Minor quibble : all the movies BT chose are great : the "Le Ciel Est A Vous " extracts are stellar : the march of the orphans singing "Le Pont De Nantes" , Charles Vanel abetting his wife in her dream to fly (a very feminist attitude at the time),the same making himself understand without having to spell it out:"your mom may come back,but later,much later".The sublime last scene of "Remorques",in which men fight against a raging sea is worthy of an epic Hugo poem. In Grémillon' s work ,realism becomes lyricism .BT praises the post war efforts "Pattes Blanches " (Michel Bouquet's first important part)and "L'Amour D'Une Femme " (then again, a female doctor on an island in the fifties!)

2)Max Ophuls ;here again, BT's work focuses on one period : the fifties .Danielle Darrieux is the queen of the sequence (she also dominates the third sequence).No static shots ,but film camera in motion , which makes you dizzy when MC Peter Ustinov introduces Lola Montès ,swirling dances in "Madame De ";and the title "La Ronde" (round dance) tells it all.Refined style ,even when he depicts prostitutes coming to a young girl's communion (BT shows us Gabin ,gauche, wooing Darrieux),or the brothel ,filmed from the outside)in "Le Plaisir".

3)Henri Decoin :it took BT time (like for Duvivier,his closest relative in this episode) before he entered Decoin's world ;Didier Decoin ,his son, a writer ,told us he was always a man who was afraid to starve (he did starve when he was young) .That's why he was forced to accept films he did not want (particularly late fifties and sixties).In "Bonnes A Tuer" (not a very bad movie,Monsieur Tavernier,by the way!) Michel Auclair tells us he knows what hunger means.

This is the sequence in which I do not always agree with Monsieur Tavernier:too much time is given over to the anodyne "Battements De Coeur" ;and what? No 'Non Coupable" (with a mind-boggling performance by Michel Simon) ? No "Fille Du Diable "?(unsung Andrée Clément deserves a honorable mention at least!) But all the rest is splendid indeed:the depiction of the lugubrious town in "Les Inconnus Dans La Maison" where rain never stops falling down, the voice over dialogue in "Les Amoureux Sont Seuls Au Monde,predating Resnais by a decade ,the comedy-turned-Film Noir in "Retour A L'Aube" .Decoin's marvelous use of his scores.And mischievous BT reveals us where he found the sentence which introduces all the episodes.

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