Italy, France, Belgium
In Rome in 1975 outspoken filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini was found dead on a beach, arousing suspicions that continue to this day. Director Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) offers a kaleidoscopic view of the last day in the artist’s life (played by a sublime Willem Dafoe).
"Ferrara has come up with something pretty special here: a subtle, seductive, lamp-lit hymn to one artist’s talents from another in the process of rediscovering his own." Robbie Colin, The Telegraph
François Truffaut’s first feature is also his most personal. Told through the eyes of Truffaut’s cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), The 400 Blows sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut’s own childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime. The film marked Truffaut’s passage from leading critic to trailblazing auteur of the French New Wave. 35mm print.
François Truffaut is drunk on the possibilities of cinema in this, his most playful film. Part thriller, part comedy, part tragedy, Shoot the Piano Player relates the adventures of mild-mannered piano player Charlie (Charles Aznavour, in a triumph of hangdog deadpan) as he stumbles into the criminal underworld and a whirlwind love affair. Loaded with gags, guns, clowns, and thugs, this razor-sharp homage to the American gangster film is pure nouvelle vague. 35mm print
Truffaut’s last film is a valentine to Hitchcock’s mystery thrillers and to director’s last great love, actress Fanny Ardant. Shot in gorgeous black and white by Nestor Almendros, it’s the story of an older, hapless real-estate agent, Vercel (Jean-Louis Trintignant), under suspicion for murder. The agent’s beautiful, intelligent secretary (Ardant) conspires to hide him from the cops and solve the crime. It’s light but piquant; a fond farewell.
Truffaut channels Hitchcock (and foreshadows Tarantino’s Kill Bill) in this primary coloured revenge saga with Jeanne Moreau calling the shots. It’s based on a novel by Cornell Woolrich (Rear Window) and Bernard Herrmann contributes a signature score.