The cinema man




He was one of the greatest French filmmakers, as well as President of the Lumière Institute. For a long time, he had dreamt of this festival, which today survives him. Tonight, a tribute will be paid to Bertrand Tavernier, passionate connoisseur of the cinema and humanist.

On a daily basis, his absence is felt by those close to him and by the large network of film lovers with whom he exchanged enthusiastic and enlightening e-mails, after having seen a Hollywood film he had been tracking for a long time or after obtaining information on the history of cinema. But it is perhaps at the Lumière festival that the passing of Bertrand Tavernier, who died this past spring, will be experienced in a tangible way by the greatest number of people. He will be missed by those who enjoyed his erudite and jovial presentations at the Lumière Institute's big movie theatre, or by those who marvelled at the literary quality of his laudatory speeches for Lumiere Award honouree, a text that he polished every year, and which he delivered in his usual shy manner, with his wobbly microphone and lowered gaze.

The festival highlighted, if one may say, some of his best qualities: his boundless curiosity, the unfailing commitment to his values - and the defence of cinema and filmmakers – along with this communicative conviction that admiring others, a peer, a creator, is never an admission of weakness but always an enrichening experience.



Appat Tournage

Fresh Bait, 1995


We will not reiterate here, in this short text, Bertrand Tavernier's career as a filmmaker and citizen, but we can emphasise that the two were inextricably linked, that his films were his visions of the world and that they were inspired by the certainty that humanity and society should strive for the ‘ordinary honesty’ or ‘common decency’ that he borrowed from George Orwell. His works reflected his principles of behaviour and, ultimately, his faith in humankind.

His films will live on, and they are 100% Tavernier. The Count of Chabannes in The Princess of Montpensier comes to mind, for instance. Bertrand Tavernier gave the character his modesty, his total faith in reason in the face of human folly. The actor in the role, Lambert Wilson, will undoubtedly explain this intimate transfer from the filmmaker to himself. And all those who admired Bertrand Tavernier and accompanied him on his journey will tell their stories. It will be tinged with sadness, but certainly still joyful!

Aurélien Ferenczi



Evening tribute to Bertrand Tavernier
Readings, videos, clips, music!
Auditorium of Lyon Sun. 10 7:45pm


Categories: Lecture Zen