10 August, 2012

Hommage To Claude Sautet

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

Even the most avid of French film lovers may not be as familiar with the career and oeuvre of Claude Sautet. Well, the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York is about to address it, offering the iconic French director a well-seeded retrospective of his major and minor works, most not seen in theaters for over 30 years. This is the kind of homage that brings the French auteur to the forefront along with his better known contemporaries and allows American audiences the chance to discover a formidable film talent. CLAUDE SAUTET: THE THINGS OF LIFE ran from August 1 to 9 and  showcased the director’s films, including his masterpiece MAX ET LES FERRAILLEURS which will have its long awaited US theatrical premiere with a one week run beginning August 10th at the Society’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, in a new 35mm restoration from Rialto Pictures.

Hailed as a master filmmaker by Jean-Pierre Melville, Francois Truffaut and film critic Pauline Kael, Claude Sautet ranked among the most popular French directors of his generation at home and abroad, though today his body of work has slipped into anonymity. The 13-film lineup – complete save for Sautet’s disavowed debut feature BONJOUR SOURIRE – includes a new digital restoration of the 1965 thriller THE DICTATOR’S GUNS starring Lino Ventura; the Venice Film Festival award winner A HEART IN WINTER, a brilliantly acted relationship drama set against the world of classical music; the Oscar-nominated A SIMPLE STORY, featuring a stunning performance by longtime muse Romy Schneider; and his international breakthrough THE THINGS OF LIFE, remade in the U.S. decades later as the Richard Gere/Sharon Stone starrer INTERSECTION. The series also includes an intimate look at the filmmaker himself in the documentary, CLAUDE SAUTET OR THE INVISIBLE MAGIC, culled hours of audio interviews in which he discussed his body of work in extraordinary and candid detail.
Claude Sautet was a master of la vie quotidienne, whether that happened to be the lives of petty criminals or of his favorite subject, the haute bourgeoisie,” said the Film Society’s Associate Program Director Scott Foundas, who programmed the series. “With an unshowy style and keenly observed detail, he captured the ways people sit in caf├ęs, browse in bookshops, talk around the dinner table. Above all, he peered deeply into the mysteries of attraction, creating a rich body of unconventional, unpredictable, vividly human love stories.” For more information, visit:


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