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The Films of Philippe Garrel

Marie pour mémoire

Philippe Garrel, France, 1967, 74 min., French w/ English subtitles

Garrel’s first full-length feature, frequently translated literally as “Marie for Memory,” but perhaps more accurately as “Remember Marie” or “Marie for the record,” is “An explicitly political work about innocence thwarted by parental and state control that trades in the iconography of the Holy Trinity,” per Kent Jones, and an international success, winning first prize at the Festival of Young Cinema in Hyères (and even distributed in the US by Universal Pictures 16mm division). “The first total revolution in cinema since the advent of Jean-Luc Godard. No more literature here. No other writing than that of the camera.” —Claude Mauriac

The Films of Philippe Garrel

At a time when the auteurs of the French New Wave were basking in international success, the young Philppe Garrel emerged with a singular, anarchistic vision that pushed the limits of an already-groundbreaking movement. The short film Les enfants désaccordés was made when Garrel was just 16 years old. As the civil unrest in France sparked by the events of May ’68 reverberated around the globe,, Garrel and a coterie of filmmakers known as the Zanzibar group, began dismantling the structure and language of the cinema that preceded them. Garrel chronicled the May ’68 protests in the recently re-discovered Acuta 1 and he revisited the events in his 2005 feature Regular Lovers. Throughout the 1970s, while involved in a tumultuous relationship with German model and chanteuse Nico, Garrel made some of the most daring and visionary cinema in all of Europe. Often incorporating aspects of his personal life and casting members of his own family in his narratives, Garrel pioneered a singular style of filmmaking with hints of Robert Bresson, Jacques Rivette and Andy Warhol, with an aesthetic dominated by minimalism and existential ennui. Lightbox Film Center is thrilled to present a survey of Philippe Garrel’s films throughout the month, including a special conversation with filmmaker Yann Dedet (editor on J'entends plus la guitar) on April 20. Film descriptions courtesy of Metrograph. Special thanks to Jacob Perlin.