From September 6th to October 3rd, we’re honored to present a series of four short films programmed in partnership with La Cinémathèque française and drawn from the legendary Parisian institution’s collections – one of the largest and most significant film archives in the world. These rare works by filmmakers Jacques Rozier, Jacques Kébadian, Cécile Decugis and Pierre Clémenti are testimonies to the ingenuity and scope of the French independent cinema from the ’60s to the late ’80s. All four were recently digitally restored with the help of the Cinémathèque, and now screen in their online premieres.
Founded in 1936 by Henri Langlois and future Eyes Without a Face director Georges Franju, La Cinémathèque française soon evolved into a mecca for filmmakers and cinephiles worldwide. Its daily screenings of classics, rarities and bold new work acted as an education in cinema for many future masters of the art, notably the critic-directors of the French New Wave. Its collections of film negatives and prints, cameras, documents and other materials are one of cinema history’s most crucial and inexhaustible resources. “To me, the Cinémathèque is a place that should be a destination, to which people come as they are and then leave different,” said Langlois, who, thanks to his visionary founding and development of the Cinémathèque, is considered one of the most important figures in film history.
Hats, coats, boots, and capes: these are the subjects of Dans le vent, Jacques Rozier’s documentary short about contemporary French fashion trends. Combining the techniques of cinéma vérité with a pop art sensibility, and with beautiful black-and-white cinematography from frequent New Wave collaborator Willy Kurant and a score by the legendary Serge Gainsbourg, Dans le vent captures the atmosphere of modern Paris in just a few brief minutes. The film is a quintessential example of the Nouvelle Vague by one of the movement’s last surviving directors, released the same year as his delightful debut feature, Adieu Philippine.
The film’s title means “in the wind”, a French phrase used for things in vogue and of the moment, and Rozier energetically chases that spirit. He cuts between a rare glimpse inside the offices of Elle magazine, a photoshoot in progress, and the bustling streets of Paris, where ordinary people – male and female, young and old, chic and shabby – give their thoughts on the clothes of the era. Gainsbourg’s original score provides a bright and jazzy rhythm in the style of the yé-yé movement which he helped to popularize, and Rozier brings the keen eye for detail and generous affection for carefree youth characteristic of his cinema.
Much admired by Godard and Pialat and a continuing inspiration to young directors, Rozier is a master filmmaker who has seldom received as much attention as the New Wave movement’s biggest names. Despite the praise his debut Adieu Philippine received from François Truffaut and other critics after its premiere in Cannes Critics’ Week in 1962, Rozier would not make another feature until 1971’s Du côté d’Orouët. Subsequent features include The Castaways of Turtle Island (1974) and Maine Océan (1986), as well as several shorts and television documentaries.
In preparation for retrospectives and with the support of the CNC, La Cinémathèque française and Jacques Rozier have begun the digital restoration of all his films. The digitization of ‘Dans le vent’ was supervised by Les Documents Cinématographiques and La Cinémathèque française. Special thanks to Emilie Cauquy at La Cinémathèque française and to Brigitte Berg at Les Documents Cinématographiques for making this screening possible.
- Credits for
- Dans le vent
- Fouli Elia, Berthe Granval, Hélène Lazareff & Jean Lescot
- written by
- Denise Dubois-Jallais & Jacques Rozier
- Willy Kurant
- Serge Gainsbourg