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Screen/Society--"L'Enfant Secret" (Philippe Garrel, 1982) | French Film Series

enfant secret still
Saturday, February 04, 2023
7:00 pm
Introduced by Benjamin Crais (Literature). Q&A to follow screening.
French Film Series

CFFS & Screen/Society present the 2023 French Film Series:

"L'Enfant secret"
(Philippe Garrel, 1982, 95 min, France, French with English subtitles, DCP)

Preceded by: "Actua 1"
(Philippe Garrel, 1968, 6 min, France, French with English subtitles, DCP)

After the generational upheaval of May '68 and its aftermath, and the personal upheavals of addiction, depression, shock therapy, and the end of a life-defining relationship with Nico, Philippe Garrel made "L'Enfant secret": an elemental, oneiric film about two damaged lovers. Primordial and intimate, L'Enfant secret seems to emanate directly from the molten white core of a life and of film: one feels, Adrian Martin wrote, "that one is attending, like a midwife, the birth of cinema." Preceded by Garrel's recently rediscovered and restored short "Actua 1," shot in the heat of May '68.

--Winner of the 1982 Prix Jean Vigo

"It seems to me one of the greatest and most monumental works in cinema history." - Adrian Martin

"Anyone versed in "L'Enfant secret" through bootleg copies will weep for joy upon seeing the new restoration, which makes this milestone of post-French New Wave cinema finally play as it should: a lucid dream." - Screen Slate

"It may be the most haunted film ever made. One is struck by the sense of Garrel inventing cinema, by images that come from a time before Lumière; the characters are haunted by past lives and present possible worlds; the film is haunted by the autobiographical 'reality' of Garrel and Nico's relationship." - Senses of Cinema

"It is a singular event in Garrel's oeuvre, a quietly devastating film of almost unbearable alternations between tenderness and the harshest truths, in which the artist's realization of his ability to communicate with the world results in a windblown clarity, like clouds pushing through the sky after a storm." - Kent Jones

View trailer (in French):

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Contact: Hank Okazaki