La Collectionneuse

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Read an article about La Collectionneuse in French Morning!


About La Collectionneuse

“Qui est La Collectionneuse?”
La Collectionneuse — the woman who collects — is the totemic hostess of Cinefamily’s new monthly cinematic salon for lovers of French film and culture. For her monthly soirée, La Collectionneuse opens her private cabinet de curiosités to share pearls of cinéma français –from rare shorts and scopitones to feature film discoveries.–followed by sparkling conversations, artistic installations, and delightful libations, all enjoyed in our own little backyard guinguette! For La Collectionneuse isn’t just collecting her beloved objets d’art to fascinate and entertain you, she’s gathering her favorite people….if you’re lucky, maybe she’ll collect you!

 

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L'Atalante

l'atalante
6/30 - 7:30PM
$12/free for members

Co-presented by the French Film and TV Office

Don’t be fooled by the flying cat gags or that scene where Michel Simon does the Dougie — for all its playfulness, Jean Vigo’s 1934 romance L’Atalante is an obsessively precise work, anchored by a deep reverence for the cinematic craft. The only feature of Vigo’s abbreviated career (tuberculosis), L’Atalante dots a modest storyline with scenes of jaw-dropping visual reverie so tonally and rhythmically sophisticated they might pass for the contemporary work of any of the more aesthetically open-handed modern auteurs (think Nicolas Winding Refn, Alfonso Cuarón, Barry Jenkins). As on all his films, Vigo here enlists cinematographer Boris Kaufman, the youngest brother of Soviet documentarian Dziga Vertov, with whom the young Pole shared a delighted fascination with the unique technical potential of film. Despite mannered performances entirely typical of the pre-Method era, Juliette (Dita Parlo) and Jean’s (Jean Dasté) tempestuous honeymoon comes brightly to life on screen, largely thanks to Kaufman’s dynamic camera, which plies the decks of the titular vessel and its lovers’ tangled bodies with startling intimacy.

Dir. Jean Vigo, 1934, 35mm, 89 min.

Moral Tales: The Bakery Girl of Monceau & Suzanne’s Career at Zebulon

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7/6 - 8PM
$12/free for members

Co-presented by the French Film and TV Office

This event will take place at Zebulon, located at 2478 Fletcher Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90039. Doors open at 7pm, show at 8pm.

After party with DJs Mark Wright and Jessica Hardy from Décadanse Soirée

The Bakery Girl of Monceau

A frustrated romantic of a law student is torn between Sylvie, a spectral art gallery assistant, and Jacqueline, a coarse bakery shopgirl. Rohmer finds ethereal, universal themes of lust within a few square blocks – summoning the power of cinema to render the everyday bustle of Paris a staging ground for an obsessive drama. The first Moral Tale is pure Nouvelle Vague: shot guerilla-style on 16mm in the back alleys of the 8th arrondissement, delectably local, and featuring narration by fellow film titan Bertrand Tavernier.

Dir. Éric Rohmer, 1963, digital presentation, 23 min.

Suzanne’s Career

Rohmer has a gift for spotlighting idiosyncratic behavior – the unpracticed snowflake-qualities of real people that are usually lost on-screen, beneath layers of dramatic training and self-awareness. In the Moral Tales’ second episode, Rohmer develops his effortless blend of a novelist’s diary-style storytelling with naturalistic, acutely observed, and often contradictory human behavior. The result is raw and funny, tripping loosely around the lives of middle-class college students in a vivid time capsule of Paris’s Latin Quarter in the early ’60s. The young unknowns who fill out Suzanne’s Career really seem like college freshmen; babies in grown-up bodies opting for ill-conceived romances and failing their classes with the charming self-absorption of teenagers.

Dir. Éric Rohmer 1963, digital presentation, 54 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Moral Tales: La Collectionneuse

La Collectionneuse
7/8 - 5PM
$12/free for members

Co-presented by the French Film and TV Office

Witty, philosophical, erotic, and true to life, La Collectionneuse is like a dream-vision of the summer vacation in the south of France you never had. As contradictory, sensual, and sardonic as its languid heroes, the film throws a spotlight on small moments of romantic caprice or boredom, and practically heralds the new, bohemian style of dandyism as it emerged in the ’60s: voluntary unemployment, casual sex, avant-garde philosophy, pop music, and comic books. As he staged these gorgeous Côte d’Azur-set scenes, Rohmer obsessed himself with authenticity: visual artist Daniel Pommereulle plays himself and co-wrote the dialogue with the other two leads, and the filmmaker himself called around for collectors of insect noises to find the right species for Saint-Tropez in June.

Though made third, La Collectionneuse was conceived of as Moral Tale number four; it was made with an exceptionally limited budget while Rohmer waited for Jean-Louis Trintignant to be available for My Night at Maud‘s.

Dir. Éric Rohmer, 1967, DCP, 89 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Moral Tales: My Night at Maud’s

My Night at Maud's
7/15 - 5PM
$12/free for members

Co-presented by the French Film and TV Office

With a DJ set by Jim Smith from The Smell

My Night at Maud’s is one of those movies with truly great dialogue – the kind of late-night heart-to-hearting and waxing philosophical that you recognize more from life than from other movies. Deep-dives that wantonly break the “sex/politics/religion” rule and life-like skirmishes played out awkwardly via unspoken social cues will make you laugh or wince with recognition. Rohmer remains obsessively devoted to wrapping reality up in fiction, casting a Marxist to play a Marxist and intertwining his protagonist’s romantic troubles with the writings of mathematician-philosopher Blaise Pascal. If that sounds pretentious and unromantic, Rohmer knows it – his specialty is in vain male heroes bumbling through tangled webs of self-deception. With the third (but fourth released) Moral Tale, the formula finally won him a breakout success, garnering praise at Cannes and even penetrating mainstream theaters in the U.S., where Rohmer landed his only Oscar nomination. It introduced Rohmer to America as the New Wave’s most understated master – novelistic, quietly satirical, and a keen observer of the subtle beauty and absurdity of human behavior.

Dir. Éric Rohmer, 1969, 35mm, 110 min.

Print courtesy of the Institut Français. Special thanks to the Cultural services of the French Embassy.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Moral Tales: Claire's Knee

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7/22 - 5PM
$12/free for members

Co-presented by the French Film and TV Office

“Something close to a perfect film… Claire’s Knee unfolds like an elegant fairy tale in a series of enchanted and enchanting encounters, on the lake, in gardens heavy with blossoms, in interiors that look like Vermeers… it is so funny and so moving, so immaculately realized, that almost any ordinary attempt to describe it must, I think, in some way diminish it,” wrote The New York Times‘ Vincent Canby in 1971.

Arguably Rohmer’s masterpiece, the fifth installment of his Moral Tales sextuplet, Claire’s Knee, traces the lustful pangs of Jérôme, a diplomat stationed at Lake Annecy in Western France, as he encounters and muses with Aurora, a wizened novelist, and two teenage girls. Unfolding in a novelistic, stream-of-consciousness style across July 1970, Claire’s Knee achieves as close to pure heartbeat-editing as ever attempted in French cinema. The moody photography (Rohmer’s second film in color) is utterly entrancing; the performances deftly subtle; the drama purely human. Canby placed the film within the company of Intolerance, Rear Window, and My Darling Clementine – works that not only attest to the power of the cinematic form, but could only exist because of it.

Dir. Éric Rohmer, 1970, 35mm, 105 min.

Print courtesy of the Institut Français. Special thanks to the Cultural services of the French Embassy.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Moral Tales: Love in the Afternoon

Love in the Afternoon
7/29 - 5PM
$12/free for members

Co-presented by the French Film and TV Office

With a DJ set by Jim Smith from The Smell

“I dream of a life comprised of first loves and last loves…” muses Bernard Verley’s satiated Parisian lawyer in Rohmer’s final Moral Tale – at once the funniest, most probing, and arguably greatest of the series. Verley assures us, of course, that his wandering eye is purely part of his escapist routine, much like his beloved novels: fancies and fancies alone, that ultimately affirm his fidelity. That is, until his will is tested by après-midi encounters with Chloé, played by the iconic model and socialite Zouzou, whose free-wheeling, laissez-faire lifestyle offers an escape hatch from his comfortable bourgeois existence. Rohmer and his trusted cinematographer Nestor Almendros (Days of Heaven, frequent Truffaut collaborator) working at the height of their powers, marry refined classicism with the post-Nouvelle Vague‘s loose naturalism – a collection of stolen moments and cinematic reveries, like the story itself. After years of investigating the nature of male lust, Rohmer reaches a peace with monogamy in the film’s climax: that though we can’t stop ourselves from wanting what we don’t need, we may be surprised at how much we need what we don’t want.

Dir. Éric Rohmer, 1972, 35mm, 97 min.

Print courtesy of the Institut Français. Special thanks to the Cultural services of the French Embassy.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

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