The Lovers + The Immortal Story + Last Love

  • The Lovers (1958)
  • The Lovers (1958)
  • The Lovers (1958)
  • The Immortal Story (1968)
  • Jeanne Moreau in The Immortal Story (1968)
  • The Immortal Story (1968)
  • Last Love (1949) Jeanne Moreau and Annabella
  • Last Love (1949)
  • Last Love (1949)

JEANNE MOREAU — a legend, to be sure…but how many have seen more than a small fraction of her 148 films? The fifty films she made before 1970? Or even the two dozen films before Elevator to the Gallows (1958) “lifted” her into a still-indefinable realm of her own?

Sadly, such investigations of the eternally mysterious Moreau remain few and far between: Midcentury Productions has taken up the matter of that last question in its FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT series, screening nine films from Moreau’s forgotten formative period. And now, as part of our look at the “auteures” of classic French cinema, MCP presents an impressionistic montage of Moreau’s three phases, as a special evening in the Big Roxie.

“Often turbulent, cruel, assertive and scheming on screen, Moreau was also in possession of one of the most charming and disarming smiles in movies. Her films practically tell the story of European cinema in the second half of the 20th century.”Mick LaSalle, Datebook – SF Chronicle

The Lovers / Les Amants

6:15 PM: Our Monday night triple tribute to Jeanne Moreau begins with her second collaboration with Louis Malle (the first being Elevator to the Gallows). Here Moreau is a neglected wife who begins an affair that leads to a more shocking and radical transgression (and permits Moreau to bring to the audience the first on-screen female orgasm). Sixty-six years ago, it was a scandal; today you are free to make up your own mind… (1958, Louis Malle, 90m) In French with English subs

The Immortal Story

8:00 PM: Moreau teams up with the mercurial Welles in a serpentine tale about an imperious old man determined to make a story he’d heard come to life. To do so he must hire a woman to bed a young sailor and become impregnated! Welles’ only color film, with Moreau both feisty and sensual, slowly shifting its tone and shape as the “immortal” story unfolds… (1968, Orson Welles, 62m) In English

Last Love / Dernier Amour

9:15 PM: The very young Moreau (just 21) provides more than a glimpse of her future command of the screen in this creamily Sirkian “woman’s film.” Bourgeoise (the ageless Annabella) confronts bohémienne (Moreau, in her first film role) in a war for the heart of Georges Marchal (playing a love object, as he would do so again in Gibier de potence/Gigolo). (1949, dir. Jean Stelli, 99m) In French with English subs

Midcentury Productions’ AUTEURES: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LOST CONTINENT ’24 features 15 films from France zeroing in on the status of women in the cinéma de papa period. These films feature women both in front of and behind the camera, covering a rich panorama of their perspectives about their place in French society. Based primarily on researches by Phoebe Green, AUTEURES is an eye-opening look at unjustly neglected works ripe for rediscovery.

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4h 11m
First Showing
April 1, 2024