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Mes cinéastes de chevet 2 - Guitry, Pagnol, Bresson, Tati 

More Tavernier's favorites : Sacha Guitry ,Marcel Pagnol ,Jacques Tati and Robert Bresson;plus a tribute to composer Jean-Jacques Grunenwald.


Bertrand Tavernier


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Episode credited cast:
Bertrand Tavernier ... Himself - Host
André Marcon André Marcon ... Récitant / Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Olivier Assayas ... Himself (archive footage)
Robert Bresson ... Himself (archive footage)
María Casares ... Herself (archive footage)
Suzanne de Troeye Suzanne de Troeye ... Herself (archive footage)
Jean-Jacques Grünenwald Jean-Jacques Grünenwald ... Himself (archive footage)
Sacha Guitry ... Himself (archive footage)
Marcel Pagnol ... Himself (archive footage)
Jacques Tati ... Himself (archive footage)
François Truffaut ... Himself (archive footage)


This is the second part of Bertrand Tavernier's "bedside" directors: Sacha Guitry who was for a long time trashed by the critics , unfairly accused of "canning " his plays ;Marcel Pagnol ,who often filmed on location in his luminous Provence of yore.Then he compares Robert Bresson's and Jacques Tati' s styles ,two directors he discovered at the same time.It ends with a tribute to composer Jean -Jacques Grunenwald, who notably wrote for Bresson,Becker and Decoin. Written by dbdumonteil

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Release Date:

12 January 2018 (France) See more »

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All these Tavernier's favorites and more....
3 December 2017 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Bertrand Tavernier 's "bedside" directors ,part 2

1)Sacha Guitry : the old critics such as Georges Sadoul, trashed Guitry, accusing him of "canning his plays".A short intervention by Truffaut points out that ,on the contrary , he was one of the first in France to understand what the "talkies" brought to the seventh art. In fact ,Tavernier says,his actors 'playing was often less "theatrical " than those of his colleagues.That said, I can do without Olivier Assayas's interventions ,he who compares Guitry to ....Tarentino.It was the first time I had used the fast forward button for these miniseries. But ,as soon as Monsieur Tavernier is back in control,I'm like the sultan listening to Sheherazade.

BT is on the right track when he mentions the almost unknown "Ceux De Chez Nous" (1914!) in which he filmed artists who went down in history:sculptor Rodin ,musician Saint-Saens (and not forgetting his peerless humor : "we can see the front view of the conductor ,for once!) ,painter Renoir and his young son,Jean who would become one of our greatest directors.

BT lets us savor the writer's witty lines ,maybe the wittiest in the whole French cinema.He praises his numerous innovations : a Tour De Force in "Donne-Moi Tes Yeux" in which he creates special effects with a simple flashlight;the scene in the car in "Bonne chance" which predates the Nouvelle Vague's would be innovations by 20 years.

Guitry was anything but politically correct :in his extraordinary 'Le Poison" (1951) he has Michel Simon consult his lawyer before committing his crime!And thanks ,Monsieur Tavernier,for this unforgettable scene when Simon and his missus "listen" to the radio.

2)Marcel Pagnol:BT begins with splendid pictures of the Provence of yore ;the (true) anecdote of the film distributor who finds a source for his director with a hazel tree ,told by our marvelous storyteller,sounds like an updated short story by Alphonse Daudet.

Pagnol would often film on location,and we feel a Joie De Vivre atmosphere,this director was nothing but a tyrant,unlike some of his peers.

In "Angèle" ,he praises Fernandel's portrayal of a kind-Hearted half-wit ,in sharp contrast with the ruthless attitude of the father who does not want a son by an unwed mom.(a recurrent feature in Pagnol 's work); the famous " the house ,not the orchard " scene of "Joffroi " is included . In " Merlusse " my own favorite , Pagnol leaves his dear Provence for a lugubrious secondary school where an one-eyed supervisor scares the pupils "because he is afraid of them" .It takes place in Xmas time ,and ,as BT says ,it is a redemption movie.

Because you must not go by appearances: behind the jovial "trial" of "Manon Des Sources" (BT's Pagnol favorite),there's a darker side, a real tragedy.

3)Robert Bresson and Jacques Tati : because he discovered both artists at the same time,BT draws a parallel between their styles .Being not able to enter the latter's world , I'll refrain from commenting. "Mouchette" and "Journal D'Un Curé De Campagne " ,IMHO,suffered from this standpoint ;besides they are not given enough time. The real meat lies in "Les Dames Du Bois De Boulogne ",featuring sensational Maria Casarès who intervenes (archive):"he wanted to do everything ,I hated him";in a short interview ,Bresson says "I feel alone" .

The superb ending of "Un Condamné A Mort S'Est Echappé" is featured ,and BT points out,quite rightly so,how Jean-Jacques Grunenwald enhances it.

The last minutes are devoted to the composer ,who wrote a totally unexpected score for Becker's "Antoine ET Antoinette".

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