Film Series / Events

Search All Film Series (1999-present)
Browse All Film Series

May 24 - May 31 , 2002

DIRECTORS IN FOCUS
Anne-Marie Mieville: The Pleasures of the Text

Best known for her two-decade collaboration with Jean-Luc Godard—as a still photographer, actress, producer, editor, co-director, writer, and art director for various of his films since 1972—Swiss writer-director Anne-Marie Miéville has created a distinctive body of short and feature films of her own. Only with the release of her most recent film, After the Reconciliation, however, has Miéville fully emerged from the shadow of her legendary mentor. This series celebrates the director’s solo career, focusing on her original mode of deploying actors, integrating textual and musical passages, and recasting the narrative form into a mode of serious philosophical and artistic inquiry. These films are a kind of writing, in which the complexities of human experience are refracted through both the lens of cinema and the sensibility of this most engaged and engaging cinéaste.

This series was organized and supported by Pro Helvetia Arts Council of Switzerland, with special programming assistance provided by independent curator Ralph McKay.


May 24 (Friday) 7 pm
May 31 (Friday) 9:30 pm

The Book of Mary (Le livre de Marie)

Directed by Anne-Marie Miéville
France/Switzerland 1984, video, color, 27 min.
With Bruno Cremer, Aurore Clément, Rebecca Hampton
French with English subtitles

Set at the moment her mother and father separate, this exacting portrait of a child immersed in her books, her music, and her dancing casts a dispassionate yet ultimately touching eye on the girl’s reaction to the new upheaval in her life. The Book of Mary is Miéville’s meditation on the end of childhood.

After the Reconciliation (Après la réconciliation)

Directed by Anne-Marie Miéville
France/Switzerland 2000, 35mm, color, 74 min.
With Anne-Marie Miéville, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Perron
French with English subtitles

At the center of this meditation on relationships, intellectual boredom, and the limits of language is the director herself, one of a quartet of characters (two men, two women) who meet and converse in an attempt to come to terms with such fundamental issues as love and happiness. (“I hope you’re not counting on love to make you happy,” a sardonic Godard proclaims at one point to a starry-eyed couple!) Filled with literary and philosophical allusions to the likes of Joseph Conrad, Martin Heidegger, Victor Hugo, and Leo Tolstoy, Miéville’s film is equally suffused with warmth and humor as it revisits aspects of the director’s autobiographical and philosophical past.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

May 25 (Saturday) 7 pm
May 29 (Wednesday) 9:15 pm

How Can I Love

Directed by Anne-Marie Miéville
France 1983, video, color, 13 min.
With Harriet Kraatz, Jo Excoffier, Carlo Brandt
French with English subtitles

In these five concatenated sequences, each begun in medias res and each resulting in the same conclusion, a woman meets a man and, each time, the encounter is their last.

My Favorite Story (Mon cher sujet)

Directed by Anne-Marie Miéville
France/Switzerland 1988, 35mm, color, 96 min.
With Gaëlle Le Roi, Hélène Roussel, Anny Romand
French with English subtitles

Miéville’s first feature film, My Favorite Story was included in the prestigious Critic’s Week at Cannes in 1988. Entwining portraits of three women across three generations, the film examines recurring themes of solitude and the difficulty of communication. The only certainty for Miéville’s women is that there is no certitude: you simply have to speak louder if you want your voice to be heard and take your place in the order of things. The director finds her dreams in the illuminating light of nature, in apartment furnishings, in city and village streets, and on the astoundingly transparent faces of her actors. As she describes this search: “From birth to death every subject remains intact. Three ages, three women. Daughter, mother, grandmother. Each of them before and after, still and always. And the men too. Those they meet, those they love.” 

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

May 27 (Monday) 7 pm
May 30 (Thursday) 8:45 

Living It Up (Faire la fête)

Directed by Anne-Marie Miéville
France 1987, video, color, 13 min.
With Anne Alvaro, Didier Flammand, Hélène Lapiower
French with English subtitles

This short work captures intimate conversation in the midst of a festive crowd.

Lou Didn't Say No (Lou n’a pas dit non)

Directed by Anne-Marie Miéville
France/Switzerland 1993, 35mm, color, 80 min.
With Marie Bunel, Manuel Blanc, Caroline Micla
French with English subtitles

The idea for this film, and the source of its title, was born of a passage of correspondence between German poet Rainer Maria Rilke and his lover Lou Andréas-Salomé (who played significant roles in the lives of Nietzsche and Freud as well). Lou Didn’t Say No observes moments in the life of a contemporary couple. Lou (Bunel) is directing a film set in a museum while she holds down a day-job answering a lonely-hearts hotline; Pierre, her former lover, is a moody and passionate young actor who is seeing someone else. While Lou analytically explores a relationship based on friendship, Pierre regresses into fits of jealous violence. French critic Jean-Claude Guigue describes the film’s engagement with it’s subjects as “beyond the wounds, the war of the sexes, and time—the only thing that remains is the radiant beauty of things.” 

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

May 28 (Tuesday) 7 pm
May 30 (Thursday) 7 pm

We're All Still Here (Nous sommes tous encore ici)

Directed by Anne-Marie Miéville
France/Switzerland 1997, 35mm, color, 80 min.
With Aurore Clément, Bernadette Lafont, Jean-Luc Godard
French with English subtitles

We’re All Still Here presents a trio of scenarios, each embedded in a particular period and examined through a specific logical regime. The first section offers a Platonic dialogue on life, justice, and equality, offered by a suburban housewife and interior decorator (Lafont) to her earnest pupil (Clément); the second is a monologue based on Hannah Arendt’s “The Nature of Totalitarianism,” delivered by Godard on a stark theatrical stage; the third pits the members of a long-standing couple (Godard and Clément) in a series of wry exchanges on the pitfalls of romance and artistic output. Punctuated with a delightful array of musical interventions, from Shostakovich to Lester Bowie, We’re All Still Here is at once an amusing and challenging inquiry into the nature of contemporary life. 

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top
Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700