Poster art: French edition (click on individual posters for artist/film info) (via)
Brigitte Bardot and Marcello Mastroianni on the set of Vie privée (1962, dir. Louis Malle)
Photographer: Raymond Depardon (via)
Jeanne Moreau in The Lovers (1958, dir. Louis Malle)
“More than in one true love I’d say I believe in many true loves, in true love, that is, in the sense that when you have truly loved someone you go on loving him for the rest of your life. For me it’s not possible to forget, and I don’t understand people who, when the love is ended, can bury another person in hatred or oblivion. For me, a man I have loved becomes a sort of brother. One of the things that has disgusted me ever since I was a child and used to observe the world of adults is the enmity between former lovers and former husbands and wives. Nothing is more stupid than saying ‘Oh, that fool man with whom I ruined my life!’ ‘Oh that idiot woman with whom I lost so much time!’
To condemn someone to whom we have been attached means to condemn ourselves. I always look on the men I have loved with pleasure and affection, they are all related to me, because not only marrying but also loving another person amounts to forming a new family.”
-Moreau, quoted in L’Europeo magazine interview (1963)
Miles Davis - Generique (Elevator to the Gallows/Ascenseur Pour l’Échafaud: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
“I met the French filmmaker Louis Malle through Juliette Greco. He told me he had always loved my music and that he wanted me to write the musical score for his new film, Elevator to the Gallows. I agreed to do it and it was a great learning experience, because I had never written a music score for a film before.
I would look at the rushes of the film and get musical ideas to write down. Since it was about a murder and was supposed to be a suspense movie, I used this old, very gloomy, dark building where I had the musicians play. I thought it would give the music atmosphere, and it did. Everyone loved what I did with the music on that film.”
-Miles Davis, excerpted from Miles, the autobiography
Jacques Cousteau & his team descend into “the world of rapture” in The Silent World (1956, dir. Jacques-Yves Cousteau & Louis Malle) (the opening shot of the film, pictured above, can be seen on youtube here)
The Silent World, Cousteau’s first feature-length documentary, was groundbreaking in its use of full-color underwater cinematography.
Unfortunately, the film is now equally famous for the damage Cousteau & his divers inflicted on marine life during filming - they blow up a coral reef, kill hundreds of fish, leave no sea turtle unmolested (they are especially fond of hitching joyrides on the backs of the turtles, who struggle under the extra weight to reach the surface to breathe), and fatally injure a baby whale with their ship. The blood attracts several sharks, who promptly devour the whale. Enraged by this, the divers harpoon all the sharks, pull them up to the ship, & proceed to brutally hack them to death with axes. “The crew becomes angry with the sharks, and fight to avenge the baby whale,” narrates Cousteau - this time it’s personal.
Cousteau later became much more environmentally conscious & was a pioneer in the marine conservation movement - his behavior during the filming of The Silent World simply reflects the sensibilities of the time. Notably, most of the reviews published in major American newspapers upon its initial release in 1956 are full of praise & don’t even mention the above incidents as problematic.
Poster for Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur Pour l’Échafaud) (1958, dir. Louis Malle) (art by French New Wave artist Clément Hurel)