Thursday, March 25, 2010
Hope everybody is having a nice spring. Sorry I have not updated this blogsite lately. Here are some recent Jean Gabin odds-and-ends for Spring 2010:
HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY TO MICHELE MORGAN.
1. On March 1, 2010, the luminous French actress Michèle Morgan turned 90. Morgan, who lives in Paris, co-starred with Jean Gabin in 1938's Le Quai des brumes, 1939's Le Recif de corail, and 1952's La Minute de verite, and their love scene together in Quai des brumes remains one of the most memorable scenes of that nature in the history of French cinema. In the 2008 film Atonement, a character is even seen in a movie theater, watching Jean Gabin and Michele Morgan on screen together.
A NEW FILM OPENS IN L.A. AND N.Y., DIRECTED BY SON OF FAMOUS JEAN GABIN COLLABORATOR.
2. There's a new French movie playing in the U.S., Un Prophete (A Prophet), a contemporary gangster movie which opened up in New York in Los Angeles on February 26th, and it's still playing. The film was even nominated for an Academy Award, in the Best Foreign Language Film category, however it lost out to an Argentine film, director Juan Jose Campanella's El Secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Her Eyes). Still, this great French movie is definitely worth seeking out. It should be expanding to more cities as this blog posting is going to press.
Un Prophet is relevant to this website because the film's writer and director is 58-year-old Jacques Audiard. Jacques Audiard's late father, Michel Audiard, wrote eighteen of Jean Gabin's ninety-five films -- Gas-Oil (1955), Le Sang a la tete (1956), Le Rouge est mis (1957), Maigret tend un piege (1958), Les Miserables (adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel, 1958), Le Desordre et la nuit (1958), Archimede, le clochard (1959), Maigret et l'affaire Saint-Fiacre (1959), Rue des Prairies (1959), Le Baron de l'ecluse (1960), Les Vieux de la vieille (1960), Le President (1961), Le Cave se rebiffe (1961), Un Singe en hiver (1962), Le Gentleman d'Epsom (1962), Melodie en sous-sol (1963), Le Pacha (1968), Sous le signe du taureau (1969), and Le Drapeau noir flotte sur la marmite (1971, also directed by Audiard). Audiard Sr. also wrote a five-minute television film for Gabin in December of 1960, which was broadcast in France, for Christmas. Here is the website for Un Prophete: http://www.sonyclassics.com/aprophet/
LOS ANGELES JEAN RENOIR FILM FESTIVAL FEATURES THREE FILMS STARRING JEAN GABIN.
3. In March and April 2010, the Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is screening a nineteen-film tribute to the legendary humanist director, Jean Renoir. This screening includes three films which Renoir directed, starring Jean Gabin. On Saturday March 13th, it's 1955's French Cancan (which also features the Mexican actress Maria Felix); On Friday March 19th, it's La Bete humaine (1938), based on the novel by Emile Zola, and starring Gabin with Simone-Simon; and on Friday March 26th, it's perhaps the most well-known French film ever made, Renoir's anti-war classic La Grande illusion (1937), which co-stars Gabin with Pierre Fresnay, Marcel Dalio, and Eric von Stroheim. All films begin at 7:30pm and are part of double features. For the full schedule, address of LACMA, and prices, please go to http://www.lacma.org/programs/FilmSeriesSchedule.aspx
THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE IN LOS ANGELES WILL SCREEN GLENN FORD'S REMAKE OF A JEAN GABIN CLASSIC ON SATURDAY APRIL 10TH, 2010.
4. On Saturday April 10th 2010 at 9:15pm, the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater at 6712 Hollywood Blvd., will unspool a rare 35-mm print of Human Desire, director Fritz Lang's rarely shown American 1953 remake of Jean Renoir's 1938 classic, La Bete humaine. In this fast-paced American remake, Glenn Ford plays the role which Jean Gabin played in the earlier film, and Gloria Grahame assays the role that was originally played by Simone-Simon. Lang's entertaining remake is a very good companion piece to the original Renoir/Gabin version, and it also happens to feature a powerhouse performance by Broderick Crawford as Grahame's paranoid, jilted husband. This screening will be part of the American Cinematheque's 12th Annual Film Noir Festival, programmed by Eddie Muller, and twenty-four other Noir classics will be screened, mostly as double-features, between April 2nd and April 18th, 2010. For more information about the screening of Human Desire, and about other films in the 12th Annual Festival of Film Noir, be sure to visit http://americancinematheque.com/mastercalendar.htm
TWO-VOLUME JEAN GABIN BOOK IS HALF OFF UNTIL APRIL 12, 2010, FOR BARNES AND NOBLE BOOK CLUB MEMBERS ONLY, WITH CHECK-OUT CODE W4U9C8A.
5. If you're a member of Barnes and Noble's book club, you can buy the book WORLD'S COOLEST MOVIE STAR: THE COMPLETE 95 FILMS (AND LEGEND) OF JEAN GABIN for fifty percent off. Barnes and Noble.com is already discounting Volume One and Volume Two of the book at 10% off, and if you enter coupon code W4U9C8A at checkout, they are taking an additional 40% off. Since you may take the discount only on one book per order, it is suggested that you place two separate orders -- one order for Volume One and the second order for Volume Two -- if you want to take the discount on both books. B&N is also offering free postage. Remember, this is ONLY for PAID MEMBERS of Barnes and Noble's book club. Until April 12, 2010, each volume is only $19.97, in lieu of the usual $39.95. Basically, with this discount, you're getting two volumes for the price of one. Click on the title of this article to go right to the Barnes and Noble.com Jean Gabin Book Page.
Have a wonderful spring.
WORLD'S COOLEST MOVIE STAR: THE COMPLETE 95 FILMS (AND LEGEND) OF JEAN GABIN,
VOLUME ONE: TRAGIC DRIFTER (ISBN #978-0-9799722-0-1) and
VOLUME TWO: COMEBACK/PATRIARCH (ISBN #978-0-9799722-1-8).