This fairly recent (and much more recently updated) piece is a sequel to my earlier “À la recherche de Luc Moullet: 25 Propositions,” originally written and published in 1977. –J.R.
Almost thirty years have passed between my extended defense of Luc Moullet in Film Comment and the long-overdue launch of the first American retrospective devoted to this mainly comic French filmmaker, who’s also a critic. But it was worth the wait. In the spring of 2006, “Luc Moullet: Agent Provocateur of the New Wave,” including eight of his 32 films, showed up at Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center. And three years later, a complete Moullet retrospective was shown in Paris, accompanied by much fanfare, including the publication of a DVD featuring ten of his best short films, Luc Moullet en shorts, and three separate books: a lengthy interview with Emmanuel Burdeau et Jean Narboni (Notre Alpin Quotidien, 130 pages) and a long-overdue collection of his film criticism (Pige Choisies [De Griffith à Ellroy], 372 pages), both published by Capricci, and a study of King Vidor’s The Fountainhead (Le Rebelle de King Vidor: les arêtes vives), published by Yellow Now.
Moullet started out in the mid-1960s as a neoprimitive, brandishing his lack of technique while reflecting some of the tenderness of Francois Truffaut’s films of that period as well as some of the boorish satirical humor of Jean-Luc Godard’s.… Read more »