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    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area

    JACQUES AUDIARD revisited

    Jacques Audiard revisited

    (Feature films)

    1994 See How They Fall/Regarde les hommes tomber
    1996 A Self-Made Hero/Un héros très discret
    2001 Read My Lips/Sur mes lèvres
    2005 The Beat MY Heart Skipped/De battre mon cœur s'est arrêté
    2009 A Prophet/ Un prophète
    2012 Rust and Bone/De rouille et d'os
    2015 Dheepan
    2018 The Sisters Brothers
    2021 Paris, 13th District/ Les Olympiades, Paris 13e

    INTRO. Jacques Audiard has a particular cachet for anyone who loves both French cinema and neo noir: his skill in grafting together genres is his own. Audiard seemed to sneak up on us as a director. I had not heard of him. (My ignorance: he was highly acclaimed from when he first began directing.) A SELF-MADE HERO/UN HEROS TRES DISCRET (1996) with Matthieu Kassovitz, showed in US movie theaters but I didn't even go to it at the time.Emmanuelle Devos and the sidewise twist of 'polar noir'+ offbeat romance made READ MY LIPS/SUR MES LEVRES (2001) admittedly quite special. Still, it felt very, very low-keyed. But then: Boom! Along came THE BEAT MY HEART SKIPPED/DE BATTRE MON COER S'EST ARRÊTÉ[/I]TE (2005). A memorable movie year for me, 2005, I seemed to be spending more time writing movie reviews and less time in the art studio. At his mother's prompting I was regularly accompanying precocious film buff Travis to local movies and festivals. Toward the end of 2005 thanks to the prompting of FILMLEAF editor and then Film Society of Lincoln Center Art Director Peter Wilson I attended my first NYFF press screenings. It was Travis who decided we had to see 'THE BEAT' twice. I think I wound up going back and watching it for a third time on my own. With 'THE BEAT'S' seething mix of crime and artistic aspiration and sudden star Romain Duris' explosive intensity thus burned into my memory Jacques Audiard all of a sudden became my new go-to French director. My loyalty was rewarded four years later with the epic A PROPHET (2009), which again featured the wonderful Niels Arestrup and made the young, virtually unknown Tahar Rahim a star and which I saw in Paris and rewatched Stateside remembering the beautiful underground Étoile Saint Germain cinema where I first saw it. The excitement of going to a new Audiard film gradually started to wane a little after the peak of A PROPHET, which Audiard himself said was exhausting to make. But he worked at a very high pitch for a long time and there have been some other very interesting movies since that I will describe here. Things may be looking up with PARIS 13TH DISTRICT (2022), but whatever happens, even with his earliest work Audiard cut out a place for himself as a distinctive noir master somewhere in the shadowy corridor occupied by Jean-Pierre Melville and Henri-Jacques Clouzot. Audiard has not ceased to win a raft of awards for everything he has done. But I haven't looked back much till now.

    REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER/SEE HOW THEY FALL/REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER (1994) Audiard's debut film, with Jean-Louis Trintignant, Matthieu Kassovitz, which I had never seen. I recently bought a DVD. MUBI has references to favorable English language reviews HERE. Audiard didn't come out of nowhere. His family already was in the business so much it complicated things and he turned away at first. See the knowledgeable mini-bio by Enrique Bocanegra on IMDb.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 11-16-2022 at 02:44 AM.


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