The Directors Guild of America theatres will now have names during COL•COA, honoring three masters of French cinema.
RENOIR (DGA Theatre 1)
TRUFFAUT (DGA Theatre 2)
MELVILLE (DGA Theatre 3)
COL•COA would like to thank Rémy Grumbach, Anne Renoir, Peter Renoir, John Renoir, Patricia Power, Éva Truffaut, Joséphine Truffaut, Laura Truffaut, Serge Toubiana and Laurence Braunberger for making this project possible.
JEAN RENOIR was the son of impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Born in 1894, he began making films in 1924 with Catherine Hessling, who had been his father’s last model and whom he married in 1920. They collaborated on various silent films, including Whirlpool of Fate, Nana and The Little Match Girl. Renoir shot his most important films in the 1930s: The Bitch, Boudu Saved from Drowning, Madame Bovary, Toni, The Crime of Monsieur Lange, A Day in the Country, The Lower Depths, The Human Beast, La Marseillaise as well as his two masterpieces, The Grand Illusion and The Rules of the Game. In 1940, he escaped German-occupied France and went to Hollywood, where he made Swamp Water, This Land is Mine, The Southerner, The Diary of a Chambermaid and The Woman on the Beach. His career then took him to India (The River), Italy (The Golden Coach) and France (French Cancan, Paris Does Strange Things, The Elusive Corporal). Renoir remained an American citizen until his death in Beverly Hills, in 1979. © Serge Toubiana
FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT was born in Paris in 1932. At a very young age, he became a film critic for Les Cahiers du cinéma, under the auspices of his mentor André Bazin. He made a name for himself as a controversial writer for the weekly publication Arts, brutally criticizing the academic cinema of Delannoy, Allégret, Autant-Lara or Duvivier while ardently defending films by Becker, Guitry, Bresson, Renoir, Hitchcock, Welles, Lang and Rossellini. In 1959, he won Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival for The 400 Blows. He was a driving force behind the launch of the Nouvelle Vague with his friends Chabrol, Godard, Rivette and Rohmer. Because of the success of The 400 Blows, he was able to independently fund his films, alternating between flops (Shoot the Piano Player, The Soft Skin, Mississipi Mermaid) and successful popular films: Stolen Kisses, The Wild Child, Day For Night (1974 Academy Award® winner for Best Foreign Language Film), Small Change and The Last Metro. Published in 1966, his book. Hitchcock/Truffaut, is renowned worldwide. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage on October 21, 1984 at the age of 52. He remains to this day the most well-known and beloved French filmmaker in the United States and Japan. © Serge Toubiana
JEAN-PIERRE MELVILLE was born Jean-Pierre Grumbach in 1917. His affinity for mystery and his admiration for the author of Moby Dick led him to take the assumed name of Melville. Melville joined General de Gaulle’s Free Forces in London in 1943 and later portrayed this historical moment in Army of Shadows (1969), a film starring Simone Signoret, Paul Meurisse and Jean-Pierre Cassel. Melville’s career is dense, yet only consists of thirteen films. The most well-known are film noir works: Bob The Gambler, Doulos: The Finger Man, Second Wind, The Godson, The Red Circle and Dirty Money. In creatings these films, Melville worked with the biggest stars of French cinema: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon, Yves Montand, Bourvil and Catherine Deneuve. They are Melville’s tribute to the kind of American cinema that he admired: thrillers and film noir genres, including the work of John Huston. Another key source of inspiration in Melville’s work is the more literary and poetic: Silence of the Sea, based on the Vercors novel, Cocteau’s Holy Terrors and An Honorable Young Man, adapted from Simenon. He also did a cameo appearance in Godard’s Breathless. Melville died in 1973. His work is continually studied and rediscovered; many of his films have reached cult status in Asia and the United States. © Serge Toubiana