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Malle on Malle [Paperback]

Philip French
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Mar 1996

From the 1950s until his death in 1995, Louis Malle pursued one of the most varied and successful careers in post-war cinema, directing such movies as Le Feu follet and Au revoir les enfants in his native France and Atlantic City, My Dinner with Andre and Vanya on 42nd Street in the United States. Documentaries shared equal importance in his career; he was only 24 when his first picture, The Silent World (co-directed with Jacques Cousteau), won both the Palme d'Or at Cannes and an Oscar as the best full-length documentary of 1956.

In this frank and far-reaching book, Malle discusses his development as an artist; the often fierce controversies aroused by pictures dealing with prostitution, incest and war-time collaborations; the momentous year spent shooting his 'Phantom India' series; and his decision to move to America in the 1970s. He also talks about the recurrent themes of his films, his passion for jazz, and his work with actors and actresses ranging from such stars as Jeanne Moreau and Burt Lancaster to the non-professional teenagers who appear in Lacombe, Lucien and Au revoir les enfants.

The basis of the book is a series of conversations between Malle and Philip French, one of the most distinguished film critics in Britain, who provides an indispensable guide to Louis Malle's career.



Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; New Ed edition (4 Mar 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571178804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571178803
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Philip French has been the Film Critic of the Observer since 1978. For Faber, he has edited Malle on Malle and The Faber Book of Movie Verse.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From the dustjacket: 31 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback
'One of those books that anyone who reads at all about cinema ought to have in his library.' Observer

From the 1950s until his death in 1995, Louis Malle pursued one of the most varied and successful careers in post-war cinema, directing such movies as Le Feu follet and Au revoir les enfants in his native France and Atlantic City, My Dinner with Andre and Vanya on 42nd Street in the US. Documentaries shared equal importance in his career; he was only 24 when his first picture, The Silent World (co-directed with Jacques Cousteau), won both the Palme d'Or at Cannes and an Oscar as the best full-length documentary of 1956.

In this frank and far-reaching book, Malle discusses his development as an artist; the often fierce controversies aroused by pictures dealing with prostitution, incest and war-time collaboration; the momentous year spent shooting his Phantom India series; and his decision to move to America in the 1970s. He also talks about the recurrent themes of his films, his passion for jazz, and his work with actors and actresses ranging from such stars as Jeanne Moreau and Burt Lancaster to the non-professional teenagers who appear in Lacombe, Lucien and Au revoir les enfants. The basis of the book is a series of conversations between Malle and Philip french, one of the most distinguished film critics in Britain, who provides an indispensable guide to Louis Malle's career.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating background to the films 13 May 2014
By schumann_bg TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is one of those books it's hard to stop reading once you start, it sheds so much light on the films. If you are interested in Malle, it cannot be recommended highly enough. Philip French clearly knows the oeuvre very well and his questions lead Malle adroitly through the key areas going film by film: casting, what Malle had in mind, how he came to work on certain projects, his work with the actors and how the films were received, and other things besides. One of the things that is particularly striking is how he acknowledges the mixture of conscious and unconscious motives at play in his work - and that of most artists, presumably. Not unrelated to this is the blending of autobiographical elements in some of his films, particularly Le souffle au coeur and Au revoir les enfants. What he has to say about the actors is never less than fascinating, and his comments on someone like Pierre Blaise, while not exactly surprising, speak of his wonderful openness as a person, his lack of a scheme, although he must have had a lot of self-discipline as well. He was the only French director, as far as I know, to have had such success making films in America - in fact there are very few European directors except Hitchcock and Chaplin who managed to do this, and none in the modern era. Malle made at least three superb films in the States, as if that was his natural element too. He was a pioneer of the medium, and his films seem as relevant and vivid now as if they had just been shot last year.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Doing justice 12 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback
Philip French (ed)-Malle on Malle (faber and faber, 1996)

>>>>From the 1950s until his death in 1995, Louis Malle pursued one of the most varied and successful careers in post-war cinema, directing such movies as Le Feu follet and Au revoir les enfants in his native France and Atlantic City, My Dinner with André and Vanya on 42nd Street in the United States. Documentaries shared equal importance in his career; he was only 24 when his first picture, The Silent World (co-directed with Jacques Cousteau), won both the Palme d'Or at Cannes and an Oscar as the best full-length documentary of 1956. In this frank and far-reaching book, Malle discusses his development as an artist; the often fierce controversies aroused by pictures dealing with prostitution, incest and war-time collaborations; the momentous year spent shooting his 'Phantom India' series; and his decision to move to America in the 1970s. He also talks about the recurrent themes of his films, his passion for jazz, and his work with actors and actresses ranging from such stars as Jeanne Moreau and Burt Lancaster to the non-professional teenagers who appear in Lacombe, Lucien and Au revoir les enfants. The basis of the book is a series of conversations between Malle and Philip French, one of the most distinguished film critics in Britain, who provides an indispensable guide to Louis Malle's career.<<<< Synopsis by faber and faber

Louis Malle ‬(1932-1995) is sometimes considered to be "nouvelle vague", though his work does not directly fit their auteurist theory and he had nothing to do with the Cahiers du Cinéma; yet, he exemplified many characteristics of the movement, including using natural light, and shooting on location.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Malle on Malle 22 July 2009
Format:Hardcover
It's a wonderful book, written in a very direct speech, on the work of this movie director.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learn more about this lesser-known European director 2 July 2005
By Hairy Lime - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this wide-ranging book, Louis Malle discusses a majority of his movies starting with the 1956 Oscar-winning Jacques Cousteau documentary "The Silent World" through 1994's "Vanya on 42nd Street." Of particular interest to me were his thoughts on "Atlantic City," "Pretty Baby," "My Dinner With Andre," and "Murmur of the Heart". Malle talks about working with the actors, writers, and editors on the different movies.

The plots of the movies aren't really discussed, so you'll want to read the synopses of them in the back of the book before reading Malle's thoughts.

Unfortunately, as with many other artists who deal with controversial subjects, Malle comes across at times like a moral relativist in some of the interviews, so that took away from my enjoyment of the book a little bit. But I did learn quite a bit about his career.
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