MY JOURNEY THROUGH FRENCH CINEMA (Voyage à travers le cinéma français)
(director/writer: Bernard Tavernier; cinematographer: Jérôme Alméras/Simon Beaufils/Julien Pamart; editors: Guy Lecorne/Marie Deroudille; music: Bruno Coulais; cast: Bertrand Tavernier, Jean Gabin, Jean Renoir, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Melville, Claude Sautet, Edmond T. Gréville, Guy Gilles, Jacques Becker; Runtime: 201; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Frédéric Bourboulon; Cohen Media Group; 2016-France-in French with English subtitles)
“It’s invaluable as a resource to French films.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The seventy-something veteran French filmmaker Bernard Tavernier (“Round Midnight”/”Beatrice”) and former critic delivers a warm-hearted, comprehensive and personal film on all of French cinema, the films he loved and the ones he didn’t. It’s a wonderful tribute that includes the popular classics like Jules and Jim, The Grand Illusion and Breathless, while also pointing out the films of the more obscure great French directors like Claude Sautet, Jacques Becker and Edmond T. Gréville.
Inspired by Martin Scorsese’s similar themed film Personal Journey Through American Cinema, Tavernier tells of scenes he says have a definite French flavor. He makes no effort to explain what he means, making this not a film course lecture to take notes on, but for one to enjoy to see him point out the scenes he either enjoyed or hated.
It’s a very long film, but it’s a labor of love that comes through to viewers. It’s a film that can either refresh your memory of French cinema or for the newcomer, compel (him or her) to make a list of films to see. It’s invaluable as a resource to French films. The journey is filled with many film clips, as Tavernier gently guides us through them.
REVIEWED ON 8/15/2020 GRADE: A-