Old French Wave Washes Ashore At Film Forum

While the celebrated French New Wave of the 1950s and 1960s was meant as a revolutionary response to the mothball-laden traditional cinema that followed it, the years have been kinder to the films that first established France’s reputation as a cinema powerhouse. In a new 53 film survey, New York’s Film Forum is presenting a program of supposed “Old French Wave” that will mine the stars, the directors and the themes that entranced the world before Truffaut and company grabbed all the attention. The four week series runs from August 17 to September 13 and will concentrate on classics of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. The series includes works by such masters as Jean Renoir, Max Ophuls, René Clair, René Clément, Marcel Carné, and Jacques Becker; as well as less remembered talents such as Jean Grémillon, , Claude Autant-Lara, Christian-Jaque, Yves Allégret, Pierre Chenal, André Cayatte and Jean Dellannoy. The series begins with the Becker masterpiece CASQUE D’OR, which introduced the charms of its femme fatale star Simone Signoret. Other great stars of the period to be highlighted include Jean Gabin, Michèle Morgan, Gérard Philipe, Pierre Fresnay, Charles Boyer, Jean Marais, Madeleine Robinson, Odette Joyeux, Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Danielle Darrieux, Michel Simon, Simone Simon, Anouk Aimée, Charles Vanel, Louis Jouvet, and Raimu. For a complete list of the films, visit: www.filmforum.org

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