The Films of Philippe Garrel

Le révélateur w/Les enfants désaccordés

Philippe Garrel, France, 1968, 62min.

In this beguiling, hypnotic, completely silent work, a couple (Bernadette Lafont and Laurent Terzieff) and their child cross a wasted landscape, keeping just ahead of an unexplained, pursuing threat. Filmed in high contrast black and white (révélateur is photographic developer), the darkness illuminated literally and figuratively by searchlight. “When we filmed Le Révélateur in Germany, every time we tried to set up a shot, the police came along: that in itself didn’t bother me much. I had come to Germany in part for that: to shoot near military camps, to create this feeling of being oppressed.”—Philippe Garrel

Preceded by:

Les enfants désaccordés

Philippe Garrel, France, 1964, 15 min.

The story of two runaways–“the out-of-tune children”–and Garrel’s earliest surviving film, shot at age 16.

The Films of Philippe Garrel

At a time when the auteurs of the French New Wave were basking in international success, the young Philppe Garrel emerged with a singular, anarchistic vision that pushed the limits of an already-groundbreaking movement. The short film Les enfants désaccordés was made when Garrel was just 16 years old. As the civil unrest in France sparked by the events of May ’68 reverberated around the globe,, Garrel and a coterie of filmmakers known as the Zanzibar group, began dismantling the structure and language of the cinema that preceded them. Garrel chronicled the May ’68 protests in the recently re-discovered Acuta 1 and he revisited the events in his 2005 feature Regular Lovers. Throughout the 1970s, while involved in a tumultuous relationship with German model and chanteuse Nico, Garrel made some of the most daring and visionary cinema in all of Europe. Often incorporating aspects of his personal life and casting members of his own family in his narratives, Garrel pioneered a singular style of filmmaking with hints of Robert Bresson, Jacques Rivette and Andy Warhol, with an aesthetic dominated by minimalism and existential ennui. Lightbox Film Center is thrilled to present a survey of Philippe Garrel’s films throughout the month, including a special conversation with filmmaker Yann Dedet (editor on J'entends plus la guitar) on April 20. Film descriptions courtesy of Metrograph. Special thanks to Jacob Perlin.