in Louis Malle
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This chapter presents some closing thoughts on the concepts discussed in the book. In dissecting a lifetime of ambiguity, the book has shown that there are few critical certainties when it comes to Louis Malle. This is the most fascinating quality of Mallean cinema. Malle's childhood experience of January 1944, the founding trauma, its working-through in the eventual completion of Au revoir les enfants, provides one coherent and important way to debate the director and his work. There is Malle the 1950s playboy celebrity, the soixante-huitard activist, the Frenchman at home in the USA, the professional cinéaste, producer, and documentarist. Classical realism, surrealism and cinéma direct continue to be a powerful combination that defies simplistic aesthetic classification. In filming Au revoir les enfants he systematically asserted a defence of artistic liberty against unthinking authoritarianism. Mallean film was also a journey of repeated reinvention.


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