France, 1970, 89 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Claude Sautet, Unrated but not suitable for children, French with English subtitles, Rialto Pictures
"Quietly and deftly, Sautet sketches in the portrait of a man gradually becoming aware that he is coming to a crossroads in his life..." - Time Out London
Winner of the Prix Louis Delluc (French critics' prize) for best film of its year, this stylish romantic melodrama cemented Sautet's international reputation and marked the start of a fruitful creative partnership with screenwriter Jean-Loup Dabadie (Max et les Ferrailleurs, César and Rosalie, Vincent François Paul and the Others) and the actors Michel Piccoli and Romy Schneider. The film begins with the aftermath of a violent car crash along a rural motorway. As the man, Pierre (Piccoli), lies in a semi-conscious stupor amidst the burning wreckage of his MG, his life flashes before his eyes - specifically his complex entanglement with two very different women: his dutiful, long-suffering wife (Léa Massari) and his adoring, free-spirited mistress (Schneider). One scene follows another in fragmented, free-associative fashion, periodically interrupted by images of the accident itself, ingeniously filmed by Sautet with an army of slo-mo cameras in a manner that recalls the climax of Bonnie and Clyde. Poorly remade in the U.S. as Intersection with Richard Gere and Sharon Stone, accept no substitute for this masterful portrait of a man literally and figuratively caught at life's crossroads.
The greatest films of overlooked French master Claude Sautet (1924-2000), beautifully restored; and featuring the belated Miami Premiere of his masterpiece, Max et les Ferrailleurs.
Hailed as a master by the likes of Jean-Pierre Melville, François Truffaut and Pauline Kael, writer-director Claude Sautet (1924-2000) remains curiously absent from most discussions of major postwar French filmmakers. Sautet was as astute at mapping the private lives of small-time gangsters as he was at depicting the ups and downs of the haute bourgeoisie. Along the way he formed lasting partnerships with many of the greatest French stars of the era, including Yves Montand, Michel Piccoli, and his muse, the luminous Romy Schneider. Sautet's films are at once indelibly French but also unassailably human. Now, they await a new audience to give this overlooked master his proper due. We are pleased to present this long overdue survey of Sautet's remarkable career, including the Miami Premiere of his masterpiece, Max et les Ferrailleurs. All films will be screened restored in new DCP format and are not available in Blu-ray or DVD.