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UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S. present

Jean Grémillon: Le Ciel est à Vous

Remorques (1941)
October 17, 2015 -
November 21, 2015

Read about this retrospective in the Los Angeles Times.

With a distinguished career extending from the silent era to the eve of the French New Wave, director Jean Grémillon has curiously remained an under-appreciated figure in French cinema, as compared with such peers as Marcel Carné and Jean Renoir.  Grémillon burnished formal and thematic concerns into a rich body of work, positing a world of enormous, ineffable forces that men and women must navigate with hope, but no guarantee, of a safe berth.  The very sky itself is ours ("le ciel est à vous"), his films would suggest, to gain or to lose, and never is this done by half measures.  Trained as a musician, Grémillon's films exhibit sensitivity to incipient energies that can surge in a narrative, or erupt in exquisite displays of illogic, bringing passions to the surface with eccentricity, and always with a tinge of moral ambiguity.  His convictions regarding real-world struggles—mostly notably, of the French people under German Occupation during World War II—while couched in metaphor, were detected by Vichy authorities, compromising his artistic freedom, limiting his financial success and, probably, his bankability for the long term.  But Grémillon remained productive, directing documentaries, serving as President of the Cinémathèque Française and always refining familiar themes: of love undone by fate, and of triumph inexorably associated with the crucible of sacrifice; all relievingly leavened by his faith in the redemptive power of art (though he even locates potential pitfalls in this)!  UCLA Film & Television Archive is pleased to present this series combining several of Grémillon's best and least-known works, in an appreciation of his contribution to French and world cinema culture.

This program was made possible by the support of the Institut Français.

Special thanks: Lise de Sablet, Amélie Garin-Davet, Séverine Madinier,  Adrien Sarre, —the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.; Aliza Ma—Museum of the Moving Image; Jim Healy—Cinematheque: University of Wisconsin at Madison; David Pendleton—Harvard Film Archive; Fereidoun Mahboubi—Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée; Emilie Cauquy—La Cinémathèque Française; Laurence Millereux—Forum des images; Jean Michel Ausseil—ZZ Productions.

All films from France and directed by Jean Grémillon presented in French with English subtitles, except where noted.


Past Programs & Events

Title Date and Time Location
Pattes Blanches (1948)

Pattes Blanches

Saturday, November 21, 2015 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Le Ciel est à Vous (1944)

Le Ciel est à Vous

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Remorques (1941)

Remorques  /  L'étrange Monsieur Victor

Friday, November 6, 2015 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
La Petite Lise

La Petite Lise  /  Daïnah la Métisse

Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Maldone (1928)


Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Lumiere d'ete (1943)

Lumière d'été

Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater