The new wave of the Occupation days ,represented by Claude Autant-Lara and Henri-Georges Clouzot ,and later by René Clément.


Bertrand Tavernier


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Episode credited cast:
Bertrand Tavernier ... Himself - Host
André Marcon André Marcon ... Récitant / Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Claude Autant-Lara ... Himself (archive footage)
Jean-Jacques Bernard Jean-Jacques Bernard ... Himself (archive footage)
Bernard Blier ... Himself (archive footage)
Henri-Georges Clouzot ... Himself (archive footage)
René Clément ... Himself (archive footage)
Alain Delon ... Himself (archive footage)
Odette Joyeux ... Herself (archive footage)
Jean-Paul Le Chanois Jean-Paul Le Chanois ... Himself (archive footage)
Jean-Marie Le Pen Jean-Marie Le Pen ... Himself (archive footage)
Jean Ollé-Laprune Jean Ollé-Laprune ... Himself (archive footage)
Denis Parent Denis Parent ... Himself (archive footage)
Danielle Volle Danielle Volle ... Herself (archive footage)


During the Occupation, many great directors of the thirties (Renoir,Duvivier) had left their country.Two directors who had begun to work earlier really got started in those dark days: Claude Autant-Lara ,who gave his masterpiece "Douce" and Henri-Georges Clouzot ,working for the German Continental films company ,who released his famous (and infamous) "Le Corbeau".The third one,René Clément, began his career at the Liberation with "La Bataille Du Rail" . Written by dbdumonteil

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Release Date:

28 October 2017 (France) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

Three aces.
24 November 2017 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

The subtitle may seem ironical when you know,as anyone past infancy does, that the Nouvelle Vague ridiculed that cinema. Bertrand Tavernier's main purpose is to show that those directors pejoratively labeled "De Qualité " " Cinema De Papa " were as great (and IMHO much more than) as the intellectual N.V. of the sixties.

This TV series must be considered the follow-up to "Voyage A Travers Le Cinéma Français" which was theatrically released last year.This episode concerns three giants : Claude Autant-Lara , René Clément and (at last ,for he was passed over in silence in the 3h15 documentary ) Henri-Georges Clouzot.

1)Claude Autant-Lara : Tavernier does not pass over in silence Autant-Lara's obnoxious attitude in the seventies when he joined the far right wing .Is -it the same man ,Tavernier asks ,who took a rebel stand and who ,when the Nouvelle Vague was ruling , had the guts to tackle such burning subjects? "Tu Ne Tueras Point " was the portrait of a conscientious objector whereas the Algeria war was not over and pacifist Louis Lecoin went on a hunger strike to get a status from the General De Gaulle; both his "Femmes En Blanc" from the sixties dealt with abortion ,in a way nobody had dared before:Tavernier shows the admirable scene of the poor woman who,for the first time in her life,will sleep her eternal rest in a clean white bed.Needless to say,these three movies were never screened on TV.

According to Tavernier,Autant Lara had always been a feminist ,in his early efforts such as "Le Marriage De Chiffon" and the masterful "Douce" which may be his absolute masterpiece ; his most famous scene (visiting the poor) ,was cut during the occupation days "patience and resignation" ,the censorship would agree,but "impatience and rebellion" ,certainly not.

Autant-Lara was a living contradiction ;his mother -Tavernier does not mention it- was fired from the Comedy Française during WW1 for pacifist activism.But his work is impressive.

2)René Clément: Another victim of the N.V. ,Clement's best works were probably tarnished by association with the post "Plein Soleil"/"Les Félins" era. But Tavernier rebels against received ideas: not ambitious Clément ? he depicts the first pictures of "Jeux Interdits " as a shock ;academic? In "Les Maudits" the atmosphere of the submarine makes the audience (and the cast,as the director himself says) feel as though they were imprisoned ;Henri Vidal's walk along this living hell is a stunning visual achievement :and in 1947,Clement was not afraid to show collaborators and S/M games between a Nazi and his minion .Tavernier also points out how filming in "Monsieur Ripois" anticipated the future overrated Nouvelle Vague.And last ,but not least ,he literally created Alain Delon (like Duvivier created Gabin)-the actor who intervenes tells how much he owes to the master- in his first important movie "Plein Soleil" (purple noon) ,one of the best French thrillers of all time.

3)Henri-Georges Clouzot :IMHO, Tavernier keeps the best till last . Compared to Charles Dickens-whose books reportedly frightened his readers in his time- by one of his actors ,Bernard Blier.For Tavernier,HGC did not depict an evil world;he depicts what man did to the world : hence the scene in which Pierre Larquey reluctantly becomes an informer (Quai Des Orfèvres); the famous scene of the swinging light which burns the man who tries to stop it ("Le Corbeau" );the destruction of the nature ,the natives ' poverty -the opening sequence is deeply moving- the exploitation of the natural resources by big companies ("Le Salaire De La Peur" );HGC had no answers ,his overlooked sketch in the overlooked "Retour A La Vie",had already told us that there were no way of knowing how a human being could turn into a torturer in a concentration camp. Oddly neglecting HGC 's much celebrated "Diaboliques" , Tavernier does the underrated "Les Espions " justice.

This is another absorbing documentary by one of the masters of the French contemporary cinema ,and it will not be the last!

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