(Jacques Cousteau & Louis Malle,1956) · Before The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, there was Le Monde du silence with Jacques Cousteau, which captured many of the particularities and experiences which Wes Anderson would fictionalize. Cousteau was an innovator, a scientist, an artist, an inventor (though he does blow up a coral reef with underwater dynamite). The film reveals the alien beauty of marine life and landscapes; it won the Palme d'Or, the first documentary to do so.
runtime: 86 min format: Archival 16mm
(Louis Malle,1958) · Confused alibis, mistaken identities, and criminal plots populate this thriller, the rising water from which the French New Wave broke. Nothing is black or white but the cinematography. Miles Davis' trumpet moans as Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet scramble to save themselves. The blaze of the interrogation room lamp, a cigarette's glow in a dark elevator, bright white faces, the black void surrounding them: the makings of a new kind of film noir.
runtime: 88 min format: 35mm
(Louis Malle,1960) · Following ten-year-old Zazie on her first-ever visit to Paris, we see the upside-down nonsense world of adulthood, the hubbub of cosmopolitan life, and all the fun of childhood innocence and mischief. Malle worked to recreate the surrealist style of the novel by utilizing fast and slow motion, jump cutting, changes in scale, and other playful visuals. Come and watch to revisit your youth or to see the colorful sights and sounds of '60s Paris.
runtime: 89 min format: 35mm
(Louis Malle,1963) · Alain Leroy contemplates life, death, literature, and the exigencies of suicide. He pulls a pistol and tosses it from one hand to the other. Will today be the day he ends it all? He wanders through Versailles and Paris as he visits old friends at a strange and estranged dinner party. This film, which Roger Ebert calls "a triumph of style," recalls Malle's earlier work with Robert Bresson. Plus, the music and cinematography make it unmissable.
runtime: 108 min format: 35mm
(Louis Malle,1969) · In May 1968, Malle returned to Paris after five months of filming a documentary in India, and he realized that the footage from Calcutta could make a feature in its own right. The city's political unrest, economic inequality, and growing slums were relevant to the Parisian protesters of the May Movement. Minimalist narration, precise camerawork, and the city's troubled beauty align to reveal a portrait of social injustice and cultural wonder.
runtime: 105 min format: 35mm
(Louis Malle,1971) · 1950s France: Laurent, 14-year-old lover of literature and bebop, is in his heyday. But when he must go with his mother to a spa to treat his heart murmur, everything changes. Said Malle, “My passion for jazz, my curiosity about literature, the tyranny of my two elder brothers, how they introduced me to sex—this is pretty close to home." Relive the palpitations of pubescence and the murmurs of maturity with this all-too-real coming-of-age story.
runtime: 118 min format: 35mm
(Louis Malle,1974) · A young man joins the Vichy police after being rejected from the French Resistance of WWII. For Lucien, it's all about power: making a name, wielding a gun, and becoming an authority. He's ignorant, mean, and insensitive; a bully who escapes his own anonymity through cruelty. As Vincent Canby wrote, we know "only that the times made possible his short, disastrous season in the sun…[he] must remain forever mysterious, forever beyond our sympathy."
runtime: 138 min format: 35mm
(Louis Malle,1980) · Scene: a decaying city, lit by neon casino marquees amidst the ocean fog. Burt Lancaster is Lou, a has-been mobster who thinks he can talk the talk but has never really walked the walk. Cocaine, stolen from the mob, turns up and havoc ensues. Surprises crop up in every dead-end alleyway, brown Cadillac, deserted boardwalk, and back-room poker game. The film garnered a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and six Academy Award nominations.
runtime: 104 min format: 35mm
(Louis Malle,1981) · A chic restaurant in SoHo, 1981. Playwright/actor Wallace Shawn sits across the table from avant-garde theatre figure Andre Gregory. They talk over dinner. And talk and talk and talk. But the whirlwind dialogue of ideas about art, life, New York, humanity, and the impending doom of civilization keeps the film exciting. Screenwriter/stars Shawn and Gregory make this a one-of-a-kind, exchange of ideologies that will keep your noggin on its toes.
runtime: 110 min format: 35mm
(Louis Malle,1987) · A French school harbors Jewish boys during the German Occupation. The story is simple but full—perhaps because it is true. In his youth, Malle went to a similar school, and the situation played itself out in much the same way. Memories of youth resonate in this treatise on the destruction of boyhood and innocence as the effects of war creep into the schoolyard. The film received the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion and seven César Awards.
runtime: 104 min format: 35mm