at Lumière



Frédéric Bonnaud, Director of the Cinémathèque Française, introduced the double header of Blood of the Beasts by George Franju and Un chien andalou by Luis Buñuel.

"Thank you, Lumière, for accepting this unusual double programme. I'm thinking of the bankruptcy of butchers that will ensue in a few minutes! You are about to see a hard, violent movie. It is the first short film by Georges Franju who was to become a great French fantasy filmmaker, which gave rise to features like Titane today. Yet Blood of the Beasts is a documentary, proof that docs and fiction are not necessarily contradictory. At the beginning, Franju did not seek to make movies at all costs. He belongs to the generation that had just lived through WWII, a tremendous trauma. When things calmed down and he discovered the fate of animals and how they were slaughtered for food, he decided to make a film. What you are about to see is absolutely real, but it is coupled with the fantastic because Franju will depict how the butchers, the slaughterers, are sick of their professions.

You will also see the first silent film by Buñuel and Dali, who at the time were two very young strangers who decided to film their dreams with money given to them by Buñuel's mother. It's a film that you have to watch while letting yourself go, because it's made up of associations of thoughts and at the same time it tells the oldest tale in the world, as Coluche would say: the story of a guy who gets dumped by his girlfriend. At the premiere, Buñuel had pockets full of stones ready to be thrown at people who walked out before the end, but the audience was made up of Surrealist personalities including André Breton, and after the screening Dali and Buñuel were adopted and officially became Surrealists."


Director Bette Gordon and photographer Nan Goldin introduced Variety

Bette Gordon: "Variety is a film about the pleasure of filming and watching. My love of the cinema is the love of watching. I was walking around one day, and came across this movie theatre, the Variety, which had a beautiful red and blue décor that attracted me. Then I saw that it was a porn cinema, which was even better; pornography is also the pleasure of watching. This film is also about exploring female pleasure. I wanted the heroine of this story not to be presented as an object, but as a subject of pleasure. Nan Goldin took me into her universe; she was my guide, my entry into this world, she is my friend.”


Director Bette Gordon and photographer Nan Goldin introduced Variety
© Léa Rener


Nan Goldin: "It's a film about pre-AIDS New York, it was a time when the city was free. It was just before AIDS had claimed so many of our friends’ lives. It was also the pre-internet era; pornography was different then and you had to go find it in these underground places.”


Reported by Virginie Apiou and Laura Lépine



Categories: Lecture Zen