In the Cinéma Club of… Bertrand Bonello

Bertrand Bonello is a French director, screenwriter and composer. His movies Saint Laurent (2014), House of Tolerance (2011) and Tiresia (2003) were all selected in the official competition of the Cannes Film Festival. His latest film, Nocturama, is about youngsters dropping bombs around Paris.


We asked him for five films that he would like to share and show.

ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, John Carpenter, 1976

This movies brings me back to my first years discovering cinema. In the South of France, where I grew up, the first video-clubs were in newsagents. One could mostly find horror and porn movies. This is how I discovered Carpenter, Argento, Cronenberg. In Assault on Precinct 13 and in a lot of other Carpenter films a man is trying to reconstruct society. At the time, horror films were rooted in real emotions and actual fears, like Dario Argento’s fear of the Red Brigades.

SALÒ, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM, Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1976

The most horrible creations of the 20th century are fascism and Nazism, and the most beautiful one is cinema. There isn’t a film that better displays the fascination of fascism. How can the human brain be disturbed to the point of getting that enthralled by violence? The junction of the best and the worst of the 20th century – between History and Cinema.

SUNRISE, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1927

Beyond the hit... absolutely magnificent, this love story where everything seems to erupt from the Earth.

THE HOUSE IS BLACK, Forough Farrokhzad, 1962

An Iranian poetess made this film on her own, upon a request from a leper’s house. She died three years after. I often show this most poetic and distressing film in festivals. The audience is always blown away, despite its monstrous side. I also think about the destiny of this woman, directing a movie in Iran in 1962, which must have been very difficult...

STEAK, Quentin Dupieux, 2006

A groovier pick. If I had wanted to make a comedy, it would have been this one. Both melancholic and comic. French comedians Eric and Ramzy at their peak.