Prior to the screening of this film (at 7pm) cinema experts, scholars and authors Ginette Vincendeau, Alastair Phillips, Michael Temple and Michael Witt gather to celebrate the releases of Paris in Cinema: Beyond the Flâneur (BFI), and of the second edition of The French Cinema Book (BFI). Together they will discuss a series of cinematic milestones that considers both the artistic ambition and the commercial realities of French cinema, from the earliest days of silent cinema to the most recent releases, taking on board both the cinema of the great auteurs (from Feuillade to Denis) and popular film genres (thrillers, comedy). Major movements (such as the New Wave) will be discussed, as well as the way French cinema repeatedly took the city of Paris as its background, subject and muse, depicting its everyday streets and apartments as well as its famous landmarks.
Chicago Reader review:
Arguably Louis Malle’s best work (1960). Based on Raymond Queneau’s farcical novel about a little girl (Catherine Demongeot) left in Paris for a weekend with her decadent uncle (Philippe Noiret), this wild spree goes overboard reproducing Mack Sennett-style slapstick, parodying various films of the 1950s, and playing with editing and color effects (Henri Decae’s cinematography is especially impressive), though gradually it becomes a rather disturbing nightmare about fascism. Forget the preposterous claim by a few critics that the movie’s editing influenced Alain Resnais, but there’s no doubt that Malle affected Richard Lester — and was clearly influenced himself by William Klein, whom he credited on the film as a visual consultant. A rather sharp, albeit soulless, film, packed with ideas and glitter and certainly worth a look.
Here (and above) is the trailer.