Abstract only

Bertrand Tavernier's substantial oeuvre could hardly be more varied. The filmmaker seeks to challenge himself in different ways with each film, refusing to be pigeonholed. This book commences with introductory remarks on the French filmmaker, Bertrand Tavernier, and his works. Tavernier has made twenty-one feature films, six documentaries, and several short films. Tavernier's oeuvre is unified by a recognizable constellation of ideas at its core. His Lyon, le regard intérieur, and his 'merveilleux lyonnais' ties filmmaking to the magic of childhood. The book chapter explores the significance of generations in Tavernier's films and in his career. The notion of generations has far-reaching implications in his work, ranging from literal families to successive 'waves' of filmmakers in the history of French cinema. The book examines this pervasive network of themes, reveals Tavernier's social, political, and affective worldview, and identifies him in terms of 'generational consciousness'. It discusses how L'Horloger de Saint-Paul presents itself as post-war, post-colonial, post-1968, and post-New Wave. L'Horloger de Saint-Paul suggests that the theme of conflicts between generations may ultimately be a red herring. Tavernier works instead to reconnect generations, showing that rebellion, solidarity, influence, and even memory are two-way streets. Tavernier's portraits of professional artists, focusing on Des enfants gâtés, Un dimanche à; la campagne, and Autour de minuit are also discussed. Daddy nostalgie is examined through the lens of melodrama, the nostalgia that comes into focus not only as an emotion but also as a historical dimension and a gateway to social engagement.

Lynn Anthony Higgins

This chapter presents introductory remarks on the French filmmaker, Bertrand Tavernier, and his works. It also highlights the key concepts discussed in other chapters of the book. Tavernier has made twenty-one feature films, six documentaries, and several short films. Tavernier's oeuvre is unified by a recognizable constellation of ideas at its core. Born in Lyons, and cinephile from an early age, Tavernier is possessed of an 'invraisemblable culture cinématographique'. He grew from a voracious moviegoer, through a film critic, to a director's assistant. He possesses the legendary Lyonnais gourmandise matched by an appetite for knowledge, for books, for movies, for experience, for friends, for conversation (especially about the cinema), and for involvement in controversies. The chapter discusses his Lyon, le regard intérieur, and his 'merveilleux lyonnais' ties filmmaking to the magic of childhood. The chapter also looks at his works as a literary filmmaker.

in Bertrand Tavernier
Lynn Anthony Higgins

Relations between generations are a central concern in all Bertrand Tavernier's work. This chapter explores the significance of generations in Tavernier's films and in his career. The notion of generations has far-reaching implications in his work, ranging from literal families to successive 'waves' of filmmakers in the history of French cinema. The chapter examines this pervasive network of themes, reveals Tavernier's social, political, and affective worldview, and identifies him in terms of what historian Pierre Nora calls 'generational consciousness'. It discusses how L'Horloger de Saint-Paul presents itself as post-war, post-colonial, post-1968, and post-New Wave. L'Horloger de Saint-Paul suggests that the theme of conflicts between generations may ultimately be a red herring. Tavernier works instead to reconnect generations, showing that rebellion, solidarity, influence, and even memory are two-way streets. Throughout his career, it seems that Tavernier is actively engaged in constructing the identity of his generation and his era.

in Bertrand Tavernier
Lynn Anthony Higgins

Bertrand Tavernier's oeuvre contains a self-reflecting dimension, and many of his characters are artists. This chapter discusses on Tavernier's portraits of professional artists, focusing on Des enfants gâtés, Un dimanche à la campagne, and Autour de minuit. In these films, all the artists portrayed are fictional, although most took inspiration from real historical models. Tavernier's portraits of the artist also function as self-portraits. Des enfants gâtés gives us a middle-aged scriptwriter who rents an apartment away from his family in order to complete a screenplay. He is soon caught up in a renters' dispute. Un dimanche à la campagne portrays an elderly painter provoked by a Sunday visit from his children and grandchildren to reflect upon the artistic compromises he has made. In Autour de minuit, an aging African-American bebop saxophonist, making a comeback in 1959 Paris, is rescued from self-destruction by a French fan, himself a graphic artist.

in Bertrand Tavernier
Abstract only
Lynn Anthony Higgins
in Bertrand Tavernier
Lynn Anthony Higgins

All of Bertrand Tavernier's characters move in explicitly delimited historical contexts. This chapter focuses on his use and philosophy of history, his historiography. Tavernier's historical fictions reconcile lyrical character portraits with the crusading spirit that is equally close to his heart. The chapter first discusses his Daddy nostalgie, and shows that through the lens of melodrama, his nostalgia comes into focus not only as an emotion but also as a historical dimension and a gateway to social engagement. It portrays the restoration of authority and social stability in La Fille de d'Artagnan and its meltdown in La Passion Beatrice. Further, it examines the five remaining historical melodramas in light of their more subtle critiques of patriarchal masculinity: Que la fête commence, Le Juge et l'assassin, Coup de torchon, La Vie et rien d'autre, and Capitaine Conan.

in Bertrand Tavernier
Lynn Anthony Higgins

This chapter examines the predilection for documentary modes of representation that runs through Bertrand Tavernier's career from its beginnings. He navigates generic parameters so as to privilege what we might call his documentary gaze on the world. Tavernier's passion for documentary helps explain, and resolve, his perennial disregard for generic coherence and narrative continuity. Although La Mort en direct/Deathwatch is a fiction, its photojournalist protagonist shapes the film into a parable or meta-documentary. The first documentary to invite that Algerian war's ordinary French soldiers to share their memories, La Guerre sans nom is credited with breaking the silence of repression and taboo. A number of works can hardly be classified as documentaries, but they are not entirely fictional either. L.627, L'Appât, Ça commence aujourd'hui, and Holy Lola scrutinize crises in the respective realms of narcotics police, juvenile delinquency, a school in a poor community, and international adoption.

in Bertrand Tavernier
Abstract only
Lynn Anthony Higgins

This chapter discusses Bertrand Tavernier's 2009 film Dans la brume électrique, and the American producer's version, In the Electric Mist which was edited for United States distribution on DVD only. The different beginnings in the two versions announce divergent approaches to Robicheaux as a character, and indeed to the whole concept of character. Tavernier's film creates organic sympathies between character and locale, aided by first-person voiceover narration and almost allegorical effects of light and shadow. The two versions also approach the long-buried racial murder in contrasting ways. Many echoes from Tavernier's previous work can heard in Dans la brume électrique. The chapter also highlights another Tavernier's venture, La Princesse de Montpensier. Tavernier's myriad activities continually remind us of his simultaneously national and international stature. He is in equal parts a citizen of France and of the world, and above all, a citizen of cinema.

in Bertrand Tavernier