Jacques Becker: Poet of the Commonplace
September 8 – 23
Championed by the younger filmmakers of the French New Wave of the 1960s, the films of Jacques Becker (1906 – 1960) have been largely disregarded in more recent times. Yet Becker’s relatively small body of work constitutes some of the most engaging cinema of postwar Europe. His family knew Paul Cézanne’s family, and through that connection the young Becker met Jean Renoir. Although the two filmmakers worked together on many of Renoir’s films, Becker launched his own career after returning from a stint as a German prisoner-of-war. With compassion, wit, and a gift for working with actors, he became a perceptive chronicler of life in Paris during the 1940s and 1950s. In films such as Rendez-vous de juillet he also demonstrated a fondness for Hollywood cinema and American jazz. This series screens eight of Becker’s films, several of which have recently been restored and theatrically re-released.