Eustache tribute in Cannes Classics

Lebrun and Léaud to attend special screening

by Richard Mowe

Love triangle: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Françoise Lebrun and the late Bernadette Lafont in The Mother and the Whore
Love triangle: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Françoise Lebrun and the late Bernadette Lafont in The Mother and the Whore Photo: Les Films du Losange
The Cannes Classic section will showcase a restored copy of Jean Eustache’s groundbreaking The Mother And The Whore in the presence of actors Françoise Lebrun and Jean-Pierre Léaud.

Also in attendance on 17 May in the Debussy Theatre will be the director’s son Boris Eustache who was born in 1960 and worked on his father’s second feature and appears as an actor in Eustache’s short film Les photos d’Alix. He supervised the restoration.

The film which will be re-released in French cinemas after the Festival, is considered one of the key works of post-Nouvelle Vague French cinema. Eustache tragically shot himself in his Paris apartment just a few weeks before his 43rd birthday, leaving a legacy of two features and numerous shorts. The director is quoted as saying: “The films I made are as autobiographical as fiction can be.”

[imageright id= 23809]Directors including Wim Wenders, Michael Haneke, Jane Campion, Claire Denis, Jim Jarmusch, Jacques Audiard, John Waters, Gaspar Noé, Noah Baumbach, Damien Chazelle, Olivier Assayas and Guillermo del Toro, have all remarked on its importance in their cinematic education.

The screening comes 49 years after the scandal that erupted after its original screening at Cannes in May 1973 (the film won the Special Jury Prize and International Critics' Prize), and 41 years after Jean Eustache's premature death in November 1981.

Other treats in store include episodes of Ethan Hawke’s event series on Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman; tributes to actors Gérard Philipe, and Patrick Dewaere; as well as a Czech new wave masterpiece Daisies by Vera Chytilová.

There will be documentary focus on Romy Schneider, who was a regular Cannes attendee over the years notably for Claude Sautet’s Les Choses de la vie. Romy, A Free Woman is directed by Lucie Cariès.

India has been chose as Country of Honour for this 75th edition of the Festival, celebrated with a brand new restoration of Indian director and writer Satyajit Ray’s rarely seen Pratidwandi.

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