Between the glory of poetic realism of the 1930s and the emergence of the New Wave in the late 1950s, French film entered into what is considered by many historians to be a dark period. Crippled by the occupation of the Germans in 1940, the Vichy government’s censorship of film content caused filmmakers to avoid contemporary realist expression in favor of historical subjects, mythology, and symbolism. Through the remarkable vision of such masters as Carné, Grémillon, and Clouzot, however, the French film industry produced a body of work that, despite such limitation, managed to speak through allusion to an audience irrevocably changed by the consequences of war.
The films for this series were selected by renowned filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier, who will join us on Saturday, March 8, for a discussion of the films of this period and a screening of Safe Conduct, his new film that focuses on the French film industry of the 1940s. For all other screenings in this series, students can buy a ticket and present their student ID to receive a complimentary ticket to that same film for a guest.