Maurice Pialat's remarkable second feature is an uncompromising study of the break-up of a relationship, based on his own autobiographical novel. (1972)
Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
Pialat’s remarkable second feature is an uncompromising study of the break-up of a relationship, based on his own autobiographical novel. So scathing and unsparing is Pialat’s view of his male protagonist that David Thompson suggested in Sight & Sound that this might be “life re-edited with just the embarrassing and unpleasant bits left in”. Jean Yanne (a Pialat look-alike) was named Best Actor at Cannes in 1972 for his performance as Jean, a selfish and domineering filmmaker still living with his estranged wife, but involved for six years now with Catherine, a younger working-class woman. The disintegration of this long-term affair is charted in a series of potent and perceptive episodes. Painful recriminations alternate with tearful reconciliations and whatever feelings exist between Jean and Catherine are inevitably destroyed.
“This is an important feminist film by a male director… Considering Pialat’s connection to the film, it is a brutally honest self-analysis. Jean Yanne is superb as a loving and destructive man.” — Melissa Biggs, French Films