14-20 November 2016

L'Alternativa Parallel

Maurice Pialat

Maurice Pialat - Loulou

Director, screenwriter and actor Maurice Pialat (Puy-de-Dôme, 1925 – Paris, 2003) studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and shot seven short films in the early 1960s; his first, L’amour existe, won awards at the Venice Film Festival. In 1968 he asked François Truffaut to coproduce his first feature film, L’Enfance nue, which was followed by nine further features, including À nos amours, which won a César, and Sous le soleil de Satan, which won a Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival. He worked with Sandrine Bonnaire, Gerard Depardieu, Nathalie Baye, Jacques Dutronc, Néstor Almendros and Isabelle Huppert, among others.

Pialat made rule-breaking, violently disorienting films full of temporal leaps and jagged improvisations, impolite movies about insoluble dilemmas and impossible personalities—women and men who can’t or won’t allow themselves to be tamed, and the tug-of-war between desire and responsibility. Many of his films explore childhood and the family—with Pialat drawing on his own experience—and their tough outward appearance often belies a compassionate core.

Maurice Pialat
In every conceivable way, from every possible angle, Pialat's cinema is all about the shock—startling, violent, eternally and teasingly promising—of being alive. Kent Jones, Film Comment

Between 2013 and 2015 there was a series of retrospectives on his work at MoMA, the TIFF Cinematheque, the Cinémathèque française, the Laemmle Theatre in Los Angeles and the Harvard Film Archive. The retrospective at l'Alternativa, organised in collaboration with the Filmoteca de Catalunya, will screen all his feature films together with his short film L'amour existe and the biographical documentary Maurice Pialat, l'amour existe.

The director who has the strongest and most consistent influence on young French filmmakers isn’t Jean-Luc Godard but Maurice Pialat. Arnaud Desplechin

The retrospective will be presented by Sylvie Pialat, Maurice Pialat’s widow as well as joint screenwriter on three of his films and founder of Les Films du Worso production company.

For reasons beyond our control, Sylvie Pialat is unable to come to l’Alternativa as planned. However, the Maurice Pialat retrospective and the Les Films du Worso section will be presented by actor, editor and filmmaker Yann Dedet, who edited a number of films by Maurice Pialat and François Truffaut and has recently edited films by Catherine Breillat, Claire Denis and Philippe Garrel.