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UCLA Film & Television Archive and the French Film & TV Office, Consulate General of France in Los Angeles present

Directed By Jeanne Moreau

The Adolescent (1979)
December 4, 2011 - 7:00 pm

It was during the production for The Immortal Story (1968) that Jeanne Moreau first confessed, to Orson Welles, no less, that what she really wanted to do was direct.  According to Moreau’s biographer, Marianne Gray, Welles replied, “Do it.”  Eight years later, the glamorous icon of post-war French cinema and muse for auteurs such as Welles, Malle, Antonioni, Truffaut, Buñuel, Losey and more, wrote and directed her debut feature, Lumiere (1976).  She followed it up with another fiction feature, The Adolescent (1979) and a documentary, Lillian Gish (1984).  Moreau consciously set out to create a more hospitable cinema for complex, multi-faceted female characters and in so doing, crafted what could be considered a loose trilogy of deeply personal, powerfully affecting films.  In speaking about Lumiere, Moreau headed off the inevitable criticism leveled at an actress-turned-director: “At least the women in my film will be real.”  The Archive is pleased to present original prints of Moreau’s two fiction features from its collection.

All films directed by Jeanne Moreau and in French with English subtitles.

The Adolescent (L'Adolescente) (France/German Federal Republic, 1979)

Directed by Jeanne Moreau

In the summer of 1939, teenage Marie (Laetitia Chaveau)returns for the summer to her grandmother’s country home for the where she is intrigued to learn that  an out-of-wedlock birth has scandalized the village and that a handsome, young doctor has set up shop. Director Jeanne Moreau catalogs life’s changes, large and small, with a charmingly light touch in this coming-of-age tale set against the looming shadow of war.

Screenwriter: Henriette Jelinek, J. Moreau. Cast: Laetitia Chauveau, Simone Signoret, Edith Clever.

35mm, color, in French with English subtitles, 90 min.

Lumiere (France, 1976)

Directed by Jeanne Moreau

Four actresses, at various stages of their lives and careers, share confessions about love, work, fame and the cinema while vacationing at a country villa. When this  intimate respite gives way to the world again,  director Jeanne Moreau, who also stars, intercuts between their disparate dramas to shape what The New York Times described as a “penetrating vision of what it means to be a woman.”

Screenwriter: J. Moreau. Cast: Lucia Bose, Francine Racette, J. Moreau.

35mm, color, in French with English subtitles, 95 min.