Rendezvous in July
(Rendez-vous de juillet)

Directed by Jacques Becker.
With Daniel Gélin, Brigitte Auber, Nicole Courcel .
France, 1949, DCP, black & white, 112 min.
French with English subtitles.
DCP source: Rialto Pictures

With Rendezvous in July,Becker widened his horizon from young couples to offer a vision of an entire generation, weaving a bold and choral tapestry of post-WWII Parisian youth culture as embodied by a group of twenty-somethings, each struggling differently to choose their individual paths in life. Becker’s lifelong love of jazz is given fullest reign here, with extended performance scenes in underground grotto clubs capturing the energy, close community and poignant transience of friendship as the youth start to move in different directions. Daniel Gélin is announced right away as a kind of a group leader, a proto Jean Rouch-like anthropologist filmmaker who abandons his suffocating family in an opening scene, driven by his hope to travel far away and never compromise his ambitions. Vividly evoking love on the Left Bank years before Ed van der Elsken, Rendezvous in July offers a touching homage to youth, sensitive to the doubts and vulnerabilities shared but rarely spoken.

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Rediscovering Jacques Becker