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21 Oct
Sun / 2012

Weekend getaway to France: Bertrand Blier directs Gérard Depardieu

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This weekend, the museum presents a revival of three French movie classics from the 1970s and 1980s. The film series Blier/Depardieu celebrates the collaboration between the much-lauded writer-director Bertrand Blier (whose latest film, 2010's The Clink of Ice, stars Jean Dujardin from The Artist) and actor Gérard Depardieu. Blier and Depardieu have worked together eight times, and Depardieu became a superstar—in France and internationally—under Blier’s tutelage. (MFAH audiences saw Depardieu most recently last month, playing opposite Robert De Niro in Bertolucci’s epic 1900.)

We'll screen films by the dynamic duo of Blier/Depardieu on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. To kick off the series, MFAH film committee co-chair Michael Zilkha introduces the opening night film, Les valseuses (Going Places). He tells us why this cult classic is a must-see:

"Les valseuses is my favourite contemporary French film! (Well, it's 40 years old, so contemporary for me.) I first saw it in 1973 at a small cinema in Deauville, and the vision of freedom, anarchy, and sex it invited was still as vivid when I watched it for perhaps the sixth or seventh time this year. It retains its transgressive quality, just as Belle de jour still shocks.

"It’s one of the funniest films, a great buddy movie, a story of sexual awakening, and utterly amoral. It introduced Gérard Depardieu, Isabelle Huppert, Patrick Dewaere, and Miou-Miou to the world. And Jeanne Moreau has her sexiest (and most desolate) sequence on celluloid. The other two films in our weekend mini-festival are great, too. Préparez vos mouchoirs (Get Out Your Handkerchiefs), which won an Oscar for best foreign film, acts as a pendant to Les valseuses.

"Come to see Les valseuses on the big screen and, most important, to share the mirth with an audience. I’ve only seen it once in a cinema, and that [experience] cannot be duplicated.

"This film is shocking but very rewarding—brilliant, perhaps even a masterpiece . . . "

Visit mfah.org/films for screening times, descriptions, and tickets to all three films, October 26–28.

About Marian Luntz

Marian Luntz, MFAH curator of film and video, has worked at the museum since 1990. In a career focused on the world of independent film and media art, she has previously held positions with Kino International, the American Film Institute, the American Federation for the Arts, and the Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP). She serves on the production team of the HoustonPBS (Channel 8) series The Territory, the longest-running American public television showcase of short films. For her contributions to Houston’s film community, she has been honored by the Cinema Arts Festival Houston, the Houston Cinema Arts Society, and Texas Southern University. She also blogs about the local independent-film scene for the Houston Chronicle in SmARTFilm.

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