This year, the Lumière festival celebrates Claude Sautet, presenting his complete filmography. While not exactly bringing him back from the dead- after years of indifference, the cinema of Sautet has regained favor with critics - Lumière offers the chance to rediscover his films that have long lingered in the public psyche, painting a poignant and intimate portrait of France over several decades. This major retrospective is made possible thanks to the remarkable restoration work on eight films, led by StudioCanal, as well as the invaluable collaboration of Pathé, who, upon request from the Lumière festival, will restore Garçon ! (Waiter !) for the occasion.
The reissue of Conversations with Claude Sautet by Michel Boujut, one of the few books that refer to the filmmaker, provides real insight into both his thoughts and his artistic journey. Initially published in 1994 by the Institut Lumière/Actes Sud collections, then reissued in 2001, the work has been out of print ever since. A new, definitive edition will be available in bookstores from October 1, 2014. Rereading it today, we can conclude that Conversations with Claude Sautet has lost none of its grace.
After his debuts in genre cinema with Consider All Risks in 1960, followed by The Dictator's Guns in 1965 (in the midst of the New Wave era, when young French filmmakers are turning their interest towards American classics), Claude Sautet will quickly find his own voice. The Things of Life/ These Things Happen will produce an emotional jolt in 1970 and foster a close working relationship with Romy Schneider and Michel Piccoli. Gradually, other actors - from overlapping generations - will include Yves Montand, Samy Frey, Bernard Fresson, Gérard Depardieu, Stéphane Audran, Jacques Dutronc, Michel Serrault... Daniel Auteuil and Emmanuelle Béart will become part of the troupe in the 1990s.
Claude Sautet, a secretive author, was the filmmaker of relationships, of friendship, and a meticulous observer of French societal upheaval for some 30-odd years. With his deeply moving accuracy and austerity, qualities reflected in his writing and his work as a director, the retrospective will allow audiences to appreciate the true value of Claude Sautet in the theaters of Lyon and Greater Lyon.
When newspaper Libération asked the question, "Why do you make films?" Sautet replied with humility and a sports metaphor: "Because it amuses me. Because it is first and foremost a game – admittedly a privileged one – where we play as a team (something like rugby) with basic ground rules - more or less understood - and we produce something meant for those vicious others: the audience, the partner without a face. Because as a child, I remained shy and mute for a long time. Because I've never mastered the language - I only cared about the music. And finally, life's happenstances – and luck – made it so that films became the only means of communication for me, albeit somewhat confusedly!"
Interview with Lino Ventura and Claude Sautet on Consider All Risks.
Interview with Claude Sautet on A Bad Son by Claude-Jean Philippe
Thanks to Artedis, SND and Tamasa Distribution.
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