Jean Eustache’s color follow-up to his black-and-white masterpiece The Mother and the Whore (1973), detailing his adolescence in the south of France, has never been distributed in the U.S., but some devotees of the director’s work actually prefer this 123-minute feature to its lengthy predecessor, and there’s no question that it seems to get better and better over time. Writing in these pages, Dave Kehr called its unsubtitled version “an original and disturbing treatment of that most commercial of themes, a young boy’s coming of age. Eustache’s protagonist (Martin Loeb) is a dark, lonely child who is taken from his grandmother’s home in the country to live with his mother (Ingrid Caven) and his Spanish stepfather in the city; he discovers not only sexuality but work, boredom, isolation, and–as in The Mother and the Whore–the unbreachable otherness of women. Photographed in summer colors by Nestor Almendros, the film is quiet and visual where Mother was verbal.” This 1974 feature also has one of the most memorably erotic film references in the cinema–a showing of Albert Lewin’s terminally romantic Pandora and the Flying Dutchman in a movie house. Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Saturday, January 6, 4:00 and 8:30, and Wednesday, January 10, 9:00, 773-281-4114.
Jean Eustache’s 1970 documentary, codirected with Jean-Michel Barjol and shot over one day, is a remarkable materialist rendering of everything that happens to a pig in central France from its slaughter to its conversion into sausages. This was produced by the great critic-filmmaker Luc Moullet, and bears an interesting thematic relation to his own Genesis of a Meal (1978), about the routes and processes of various raw ingredients on their way to a simple meal. 50 min. (JR)
Jean Eustache (The Mother and the Whore) directed this touching portrait of small-town life in his native Narbonne, where a poor young man trying to meet girls gets a job dressing up as Santa Claus. The film was shot on black-and-white 35-millimeter stock left over from Jean-Luc Godard’s Masculine Feminine and stars Jean-Pierre Léaud, the lead actor in that film and in many ways the principal icon of the French New Wave. In French with subtitles. 47 min.
An 18-minute short by French director Jean Eustache, in which Alix-Clio Roubaud, the wife of poet Jacques Roubaud, talks about her photographs with Eustache’s young son Boris. The 1980 short bears an interesting resemblance to Hollis Frampton’s Nostalgia, in that the photographs discussed aren’t the ones we’re seeing. (JR)