NYFF51 Spotlight: Philippe Garrel Delves Into His Past in “Jealousy”

Posted by Julia Kennedy on 9.30.2013

Another intimate, handcrafted work of poetic autobiographical cinema from French director Philippe Garrel, in which his son Louis and Anna Mouglalis star as actors and lovers trying to reconcile their professional and personal lives.

Jealousy will be a delight for lovers of French cinema, director Philippe Garrel, and those who appreciate allusions to the New Wave. Described as a film à clef  by Variety in their Venice review, the film allowed Garrel to explore his own personal experiences through the casting of his son, Louis Garrel, as the central character, Louis. The plot of the film clearly mimics the director’s experiences as a child - his own father, the actor Maurice Garrel, who left his mother to raise Philippe on her own.

[Louis Garrel will participate in a free NYFF Live talk on October 2!]

Here, it is Louis who has just left the mother of his 8 year old daughter (an adorable brown haired girl named Charlotte, who stands in for the young Philippe), Clothilde, for a fellow actor, Claudia. Louis and Claudia move in together, and with Clothilde bitter and alone, left to care for Charlotte. In Jealousy, the audience experiences moments between characters that expose their relationships and their fragility, changing from one scene to the next. Each character has their own concerns to address - the film is a quiet study not just on jealousy but on how to have a satisfying relationship with someone else. With actors-playing-actors flitting in and out of camera, the film is also a meditation on the question of performance in relationships, life, and theater.



"The script by Garrel and regular collaborators Caroline Deruas, Arlette Langmann and Marc Cholodenko sprinkles in a fair few graceful parallelisms like this throughout, and yet the ensemble infuses the dialogue with a spontaneous breeziness, like they’re making it all up on the spot," Variety said about Jealousy. This effect of apparent casualness underscores the attention to detail in the film and the power of what is conveyed onscreen - as The Hollywood Reporter put it in their Venice review, “Jealousy instead offers moments of quiet tragedy in some seemingly innocent throwaway moments.” The film is dedicated to portraying families and relationships in all their multitudes, from anger and sadness to joy and comfort.

The film’s imagery is wonderfully cinematic - the black and white filming was done by Willy Kurant, the cinematographer for the classic Godard film, Masculin Feminin. NYFF is screening Jealousy as a part of this year’s Main Slate Selection.

Jealousy (La Jalousie)
Director: Philippe Garrel
Writers: Marc Cholodenko, Caroline Deruas-Garrel, Philippe Garrel, Arlette Langmann
Cast: Louis Garrel, Anna Mouglalis, Emanuela Ponzano, Arthur Igual
Screens: October 3 + 7

NYFF Official Description:

Philippe Garrel is a true child of French cinema. His father was the great actor Maurice Garrel, he made a 2nd home for himself in the Cinémathèque Française, he shot his first film at the age of 16 and he rode through the streets of Paris shooting newsreels of May 68 with Godard in his red Ferrari. From the start, Garrel’s intimate, handcrafted cinema has stayed elementally close to the conditions of silent film -- the unadorned beauty of faces, figures and light -- and revisited the same deeply personal themes of loss, mourning, and rejuvenation through love. In this sharp, vigorous film, shot in glorious black and white by the great Willy Kurant (Masculine Feminine), Garrel takes a fresh look at his titular subject, patiently following the professional and emotional cross-currents between two romantically entwined theater actors played by the director’s son Louis and Anna Mouglalis. With a beautiful score by long-time Garrel collaborator John Cale.

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