When we were filming Elevator, we became personally involved. And one would say, “Well, you got involved emotionally because, well, it’s natural when you work on a film.” Well, no, it’s not always natural, because I made several films and all the directors with whom I worked didn’t become my lover. There was something very exceptional, and when I say there was I go further, I say there is still something. Whatever happens, even if Louis is not there anymore, he’s still alive, because he opened doors for me as though I came out of a jail. Through him I discovered the freedom of cinema and exactly what cinema could mean: a modern way of communicating with the world. — Jeanne Moreau

Louis MalleOctober 30, 1932 — November 23, 1995
"My point is not to take a character and cast it in a way that the character will become absolutely clear and deliver a signal that’ll be perceptible for everybody. I am more in the business of stirring up doubts and questions, and have always from the very beginning, I’ve always refused to let the spectator leave the theater absolutely confirmed about something. For me, the ideal spectator is the one who is leaving the theater with more questions than he came in with. Since I’m pretty confused myself, I don’t see why my spectator shouldn’t be as confused as I am."

Louis Malle
October 30, 1932 — November 23, 1995

"My point is not to take a character and cast it in a way that the character will become absolutely clear and deliver a signal that’ll be perceptible for everybody. I am more in the business of stirring up doubts and questions, and have always from the very beginning, I’ve always refused to let the spectator leave the theater absolutely confirmed about something. For me, the ideal spectator is the one who is leaving the theater with more questions than he came in with. Since I’m pretty confused myself, I don’t see why my spectator shouldn’t be as confused as I am."

Louis MalleFilmIcons

More scenes from the 1968 Cannes Film Festival.

As Barbet Schroeder puts it today, even before May, the unrest was “starting to cook” across France, and Cannes coincided with nationwide strikes and protests by French workers and students. For eight days, the festival carried on. Then, on 18 May, there was a special press conference at which François Truffaut led calls for it to be abandoned. What followed was chaotic, absurd, exhilarating and carnivalesque by degrees.

Film-makers “occupied” the festival’s Grande Salle, partly to prevent screenings and partly to hold a prolonged, open-ended debate. […] “Every shade of lunatic-fringe opinion democratically – though often to derisive hoots and howls – had its moment,” the International Herald Tribune reported of the marathon debate in the Grande Salle. There were moments of high comedy: when the festival organisers attempted to show Carlos Saura’s Peppermint Frappé, starring Geraldine Chaplin, the actress, together with Truffaut, clung to the curtain to try to prevent it rising and stop the screening, but were soon hoisted in the direction of the ceiling. “The mechanically controlled drapes began to move and the audience was amazed to witness the protesters literally swing from the sashes,” Henri Behar wrote in his history of the festival. [x]

Jury members Louis Malle, Monica Vitti, and Roman Polanski at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival.

Jury members Louis Malle, Monica Vitti, and Roman Polanski at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival.

Polish poster for Louis Malle’s Zazie dans le métro.

Polish poster for Louis Malle’s Zazie dans le métro.

Elevator to the Gallows // dir. Louis Malle

Elevator to the Gallows // dir. Louis Malle

"Filmmakers don’t work for posterity. We create with celluloid and chemical pigments that don’t last very long. They fade away. In 200 years there will be nothing left of our work but dust."
Louis Malle, born 79 years ago today.

"Filmmakers don’t work for posterity. We create with celluloid and chemical pigments that don’t last very long. They fade away. In 200 years there will be nothing left of our work but dust."

Louis Malle, born 79 years ago today.

Louis MalleFilm
Au revoir les enfants // dir. Louis Malle

Au revoir les enfants // dir. Louis Malle

My Dinner with Andre // dir. Louis Malle

My Dinner with Andre // dir. Louis Malle

Black Moon // dir. Louis Malle

Black Moon // dir. Louis Malle