Adapted from the largely autobiographical novel by Jean Pélégri, who also stars as one of the film's main characters (after playing the policeman in Bresson's Pickpocket), James Blue's film is a drama clandestinely shot on location in Algiers and the surrounding countryside at the height of the Algerian War. Inspired by Italian neorealism, it relies on striking cinematography while offering a unique testimony on a situation of violent historical crisis, documented from the point of view of everyday life. For his first feature and only fiction film, Blue’s extreme naturalism was rewarded with a ban in France for several years.
Paris at Dawn (Paris à l’aube)Directed by James Blue and Johan van der Keuken.
Netherlands, 1957, DCP, color, 9 min.
DCP source: EYE Film
Co-directed by the future great Dutch documentary filmmaker Johan van der Keuken and the American James Blue, both students of the Parisian film school IDHEC, this visual poem is a study of form, movement and light that shows a tremendous freedom, as well as a certain humor. These two qualities are further enhanced by the score by jazzman Derry Hall, who was also a student at IDHEC.