Vive Duvivier!


Shadowplayer Chuck Zigman, owner of the world’s most American name, informs me that New York’s Museum of the Moving Image is presenting a jumbo retrospective of Julien Duvivier films in May. This is great news for film lovers in the area, and great news for me, since I’ve been campaigning on behalf of old Julien since the early days of this blog. I’m inclined to take credit for this development and declare myself emperor of the universe or something, although the fact that I can’t actually afford to fly to the U.S. to see any of the films does kind of mitigate against such status. I guess emperorship is more of an honorary position.


Images from THE IMPOSTOR and LYDIA.

“If I were an architect and I had to build a monument to the cinema, I would place a statue of Duvivier above the entrance…This great technician, this rigorist, was a poet.” ~ Jean Renoir.

16 Responses to “Vive Duvivier!”

  1. My God, twenty-two of his films! I’d love to see Panique on the big screen, as well as La Fin du Jour and Pepe le Moko. One of my most recent prints is of Pepe, Zigman said he’d do a post on it once I add it to my site. For those of us who can’t see these (though I may try) I hope this increases the chance of them being available on DVD some day soon.

  2. Just one correction to be noted, it’s at MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art, as opposed to MoMI, the Museum of the Moving Image.

  3. Thanks for the note. If the Gods smile, maybe we can both make it to NYC.

  4. Let’s hope the Gods are grinning their asses off.

  5. ——–
    If the Gods smile, maybe we can both make it to NYC.
    Who knows, perhaps a little prayer to St. Thérèse might work wonders. Duvivier made a film based on her life, “La Vie miraculeuse de Thérèse Martin”

    And a song:

  6. Therese is definitely the right one, then. Or else the patron saint of lost causes.

  7. Some great films showing at that Duvivier retrospective. I would love to see La Tête d’un homme, for example.

  8. Yeah, that one looks double-A-mazing. Can we take up a collection for my airfare?

  9. You should see if the Auteurs people will send you there on a junket. Or some other outfit who thinks it’d be worth their while to have you do a write-up on the series for them. By the way, Duvivier silent Poil de carotte (“Carrot Top”) was released on DVD in February, one of those included in the series at MoMA.

  10. I don’t think the Auteurs have a budget for that sort of thing yet. The best I can think of is trying to get MoMA to bring me over to introduce La Fin du Jour, but that doesn’t strike me as enormously likely either…

  11. Likely or not, perhaps you should make an overture. The worst they can do is decline.

  12. Hmm… the timing is tricky, but it seems a few people may be able to help…

  13. david wingrove Says:

    I’d have thought the first image was from MARIANNE DE MA JEUNESSE, which is crammed with shots of misty sunlight filtering through trees.

    It’s also the one Duvivier films (so far) that I’d class as an out-and-out masterpiece. Do hope they’re showing that one in New York?

  14. I don’t think they are — check the link and see. It’s an extensive season but still leaves out a number of interesting films. Glad to see they’ve got La Fin du Jour, of course, but alas no Le Golem or Golgotha or Lydia or Tales of Manhattan (which seems ironic).

  15. Has anybody seen “La Bandera” recently?

    At the beginning of the film, Gabin’s Pierre character exits a doorway and a young couple approaches him. He stabs the young woman. She grabs her abdomen and falls out of frame.

    Later in the picture, when Gabin is having a nightmare about the murder, we see him stabbing a man, and not a woman. To confuse things more, the person he stabs is an older, balding man, and not the young man whom we saw, accompanying the young lady at the intro of the film.

    So — who exactly got stabbed? I have seen “La Bandera” dozens of times, and I can’t quite figure it out!

    Los Angeles

  16. No no no. The young woman isn’t stabbed at all — you can see the clip elsewhere on this site, I uploaded it on YouTube. She’s stained by his bloody hands because he’s just murdered the man indoors. We never learn much about the man Gabin killed, other than that he seems to have been a bad sort who perhaps somewhat deserved it.

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