Enfances (Childhoods)

Enfances (Childhoods)

Enfances (Childhoods) (Directors: Yann Le Gal, Ismaël Ferroukhi, Corinne Garfin, Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige, Isild Le Besco, Safy Nebbou): This very inter­est­ing idea, brought to real­iz­a­tion by French dir­ector Yann Le Gal, brings together six short films, each con­cern­ing a pivotal moment in the child­hood of six great film dir­ect­ors: Fritz Lang, Orson Welles, Jean Renoir, Jacques Tati, Alfred Hitchcock, and Ingmar Bergman. I hadn’t heard of any of the segment’s dir­ect­ors before, but three or four of the seg­ments were out­stand­ing. My favour­ite is the story of how Fritz Lang, at the age of ten, dis­cov­ers a fam­ily secret that changes his polit­ics and his whole out­look on life. Also excel­lent was the recol­lec­tion by Jean Renoir of how his friend­ship with a peas­ant child who teaches him how to hunt and steal gives him an appre­ci­ation for the injustice of class dis­tinc­tions. The seg­ments on Welles and Hitchcock, though good, were per­haps the weak­est. But the seg­ment on Jacques Tati was per­haps the closest in spirit to an actual Tati film. The gangly Tati is too tall to fit into his class photo, so he wanders off into the school on an almost word­less adven­ture. The way he ends up in the photo is pure phys­ical com­edy. The seg­ment on Bergman rounds out the film, and if I’d been more famil­iar with his work, I might have appre­ci­ated it more.

I really enjoyed the way each seg­ment not only told a story from the director’s life, but was also dir­ec­ted in their sig­na­ture style. Although these omni­bus films are always bound to be uneven, these six stor­ies moved along at a great pace and made for a very enjoy­able (and hope­fully enlight­en­ing) exper­i­ence.

Official site of the film


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One Response to Enfances (Childhoods)

  1. Bob Turnbull says:

    An omni­bus film about Tati, Hitchcock, Lang and Bergman done in their own styles? Are you kid­ding me? Somebody’s been read­ing my thoughts and cater­ing to them again…

    I see it’s play­ing at Cinefranco on Sunday the 5th (5:45), so I’m gonna try to catch it. I’ve obvi­ously not done a great job in scop­ing out their lineup — oth­er­wise I would’ve jumped all over this by now.


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