Retrospective: The Passion of Philippe Garrel

One of the best-kept secrets of French cinema, Philippe Garrel (born 1948) started making films at the early age of sixteen, inspired by the lively artistic scene and political turmoil of Paris in the 1960s. At first, his films were fiercely experimental, exploring the possibilities of cinematic language as a predominantly poetic expression, drawing mostly from Garrel’s own turbulent, drug-infused intimate and social life at the time, especially his longtime romantic involvement with singer-songwriter and Warhol superstar Nico who lived in Paris in the 1970s. In the early 1980s, Garrel’s filmmaking shifted into the realm of more classical, narrative direction, while remaining poetic reflections of director’s real life and probing examinations of love, (in)fidelity, and crushing influence of world affairs on individual lives. Garrel received the Prix Jean-Vigo for The Secret Child in 1982, and was twice awarded the Silver Lion for best director at Venice Film Festival, in 1991 for I Don’t Hear the Guitar Anymore and in 2005 for Regular Lovers, for which he also received the Prix Louis-Delluc.

For a long time admired by only a narrow circle of friends and colleagues—Jacques Rivette called Garrel “the child of Cocteau and Godard,” and Olivier Assayas called him “the proverbial underrated genius”—Philippe Garrel finally receives this retrospective, organized in collaboration with New York City’s Metrograph theater and the French Institute, is the most complete introduction yet of to the United States. 

Date:
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Philippe Garrel. The transitional film of Garrel’s career, pivoting from experimental work into narrative, from films with Nico to works imbued with her spirit. Robert Bresson “models”—Anne Wiazemsky (Au hasard Balthazar) and Henri de Maublanc (The Devil, Probably)—are a couple who fall in love and then fall to pieces, descending into drug addiction and mutually enforced self-destruction.
Date:
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Philippe Garrel. “Features Pierre Clementi (nude) and the Andy Warhol superstar Nico (dressed in a loose robe) and a few others, including Philippe Garrel. Clementi speaks French; Nico sometimes complains in English and sometimes declaims in German verse, and sometimes sings for musical background on the soundtrack. There are no subtitles.” —New York Times, 1972
Date:
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Philippe Garrel. Elemental, mysterious, and nearly overpowering in its widescreen imagery and moving camera, The Virgin’s Bed stars Garrel’s friends/collaborators Pierre Clement and Zouzou as Christ and Mary Magdalene.
Date:
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Philippe Garrel. A filmmaker comes into conflict with his wife after he refuses to cast her in the retelling of their own love story, starring himself. Garrel himself plays the filmmaker, and his family—including his wife at the time Brigitte Sy and their son Louis, as well as Garrel’s father Maurice—are the filmmaker’s family.
Date:
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Philippe Garrel. Garrel pays tribute to his parents and the supporters of the FLN (National Liberation Front) in their struggle for Algerian liberation, again casting his father Maurice and wife Brigitte Sy, as well as László Szabó and Emmanuelle Riva. Time is slowed to observe determined hands in craft, and finally to slow motion, to inflict the full horror of violence.
Date:
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Philippe Garrel. Completed in the aftermath of Nico’s sudden death in 1988, I Don’t Hear the Guitar Anymore is Philippe Garrel’s tribute to the relationship that so profoundly marked him and his art.
Date:
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Philippe Garrel. A more thoughtful alternative to Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, Garrel’s epic-length masterpiece re-creates the Paris student revolts of May 1968 with astonishing authenticity and an unsentimental eye.
Date:
Friday, February 23, 2018
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Rochester Premiere | Philippe Garrel. After a devastating breakup, the only place 23-year-old Jeanne has to stay in Paris is the small flat of her father, Giles. But when Jeanne arrives, she finds that her father’s new girlfriend has moved in, too: Arianne, a young woman her own age.
Date:
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Philippe Garrel. A young photographer (Louis Garrel, the director’s son) ends his affair with tempestuous actor Carole (Laura Smet) and moves on to the promise of domestic peace with the more even-tempered Eve (Clémentine Poidatz). As in all of Garrel’s work, the film is haunted by the dead—here, in its most visible incarnation.