"It's time to stop building films with Meccano pieces. Les Dernières Vacances is not prefabricated cinema," wrote André Bazin at the release of the first—and for a long time only—film directed by the critic Roger Leenhardt. And it is indeed this inner freedom, at the same time joyful, sensual and cruel, depicted on a quite traditional canvas—a large family property about to be sold, teenagers awakening to love—that made this film one of the reference points for the young editors of the Cahiers, against the clichés of academic French cinema post-WWII.
JanineDirected by Maurice Pialat.
With Hubert Deschamps, Claude Berri, Evelyne Ker.
France, 1962, DCP, black & white, 16 min.
French with English subtitles.
DCP source: Films de Jeudi
Based on a screenplay by future producer (and brother-in-law of the director) Claude Berri, Pialat places his characters in the Saint-Denis district of Paris. A documentary dimension counterbalances what could be a too clever scenario based around two idiotic men, and instead delivers a portrait en creux of a liberated woman ahead of her time.