Cinéastes at NYFF Closes Splendid French Film Season in NY

November 6, 2012 | By French Culture

After a splendid summer for French cinema fans in New York (with the Films on the Green festival; Claude Sautet's retrospective at Lincoln Center; a series at MoMA dedicated to Gaumont's detective films; The French Old Wave at Film Forum; and Jean Epstein at Anthology Film Archives) the world renowned New York Film Festival (NYFF), put French cinema at the heart of this year's program with the release of several documentaries from the television series Cinéastes de notre temps.

For its recent fiftieth anniversary program (September 28 - October 14, 2012), the NYFF, organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, presented 12 French productions and co-productions out of the 32 new releases in its main selection. This festival also included 31 films in the documentary television series Cinéastes de notre temps/Cinéma, de notre temps.

Based on interviews with filmmakers from around the world, Cinéastes de notre temps, was founded in 1964 by André Bazin and Janine S. Labarthe and continued through 1972.  In 1989, the series was re-launched by ARTE under the title Cinéma, de notre temps.  Drawing on the group of directors affiliated with the journal Cahiers du Cinema - Douchet, Weyergans, Rohmer, Fieschi, Rivette and Comolli and the New Wave directors Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut - the series was recorded just as this new generation of directors was emerging. Interviews were shot mostly at the filmmakers' homes, encouraging the the filmmakers to speak openly about their careers, their movies and cinema, in general.

The soul of the series, critic and filmmaker André S. Labarthe travelled to New York for the occasion, as did Mathieu Gallet, President of the National Audiovisual Institute. INA is the main organizer of this event, along with AMIP and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. The film selection was made by Veronique Godard, and Richard Peña, the director of the New York Film Festival. A bilingual booklet was published especially for this occasion by Ina and was distributed during the festival.

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