Tavernier, Klein, Hitchcock, Delon: when cinema is shown in style

Tavernier, Klein, Hitchcock, Delon: when cinema is shown in style

the important thing
At the end of the year, beautiful books are published that will tell the passion of the 7th art – directors and actors. And the music that accompanies them.

The short-lived president of the Cinémathèque de Toulouse before devoting himself fully to the Institut Lumière in Lyon, his hometown, Bertrand Tavernier (1941-2021) was the extraordinary embodiment of passion for the 7th art. After the summer soap opera on France Inter, Laurent Delmas (who co-hosts the program “On aura tout vu”, on Saturday mornings) dedicates the book to the director, giving pride of place to photos and interviews. Nathalie Baye, Marie Gillain, Isabelle Huppert, Xavier Giannoli or even the essential composer Philippe Sarde appear in the credits. At the end of the interview, the artists must summarize Tavernier in 3 words. And so he is described in turn as “enthusiastic, sharing and secretive”, “complex, tender and empathetic” or even “generous, eclectic and mysterious”. As for Laurent Delmas, he chooses 9 angles of attack, focusing on the citizen, marked by fathers and wars; a scholar, a music lover and, of course, a movie eater. A beautiful polyphonic portrait (Gallimard, 288 pages, €29.90).

Decidedly well attended, the Cinémathèque hosted photographer and director William Klein (1926-2022) in September 2010 for a screening of “Who Are You Polly Maggoo?” (1966), a burlesque and delirious excursion into the backstage of fashion. This completely unusual film was produced by Robert Delpire. And today it is Delpire & Co who publishes the film version – with excellent quality screenshots – that punches above its weight (3 kg!) In the dialogues, also reproduced, a sentence that says everything about the project of our friend “Bill”: “You don’t have to explain anything because, unmistakably, you are wrong” (Delpire & Co, 544 pages, €65).

Beautiful 60s

Ultra-classical in form, Philippe R. Doumic’s “The Eye of Cinema” differs by half. However, the book has the great merit of introducing us to a very productive photographer in the sixties of the last century, when he worked for Unifrance. A man has a great chance to grab many actors who will become stars in his beautiful youth, from Alain Delon to Annie Girardot, from Catherine Deneuve to Belmond, from Marie-France Pisier to Jean-Claude Brialy. A whole engrossed world that springs up, full of grace, before our eyes (Capricci, 240 pages, €39.90).

A recent guest of the Cinémathèque, film music specialist Thierry Jousse (“Ciné tempo” on France Musique) chose to screen “Man with a Camera”, a 1923 silent film by Dzige Vertov set to music by Pierre Henry 70 years later. On this occasion, the critic presented “Original soundtracks, an illustrated history of music in the cinema”, a work with a very fragmented model that explores an “almost secret” heritage that is now finally being assessed at its fair value. An excellent introduction with short texts and numerous photos, to get to know the essentials “Hitchcock/Hermann, the perfect couple”, “The Morricone continent”, “The new wave and its new composers” (Legrand, Delerue, Duhamel… ), “pioneer” François de Roubaix etc. (EPA, 290 pages, €45).

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