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Screen/Society--"The Mother and the Whore" (Jean Eustache, 1973) | 2024 French Film Festival

Still from The Mother and The Whore
Saturday, February 10, 2024
2:00 pm
Introduced by Prof. Anne-Gaëlle Saliot (Romance Studies/Cinematic Arts); Q&A to follow

(Jean Eustache, 1973, 219 min, France, French with English subtitles, DCP)

Screening as part of the 2024 French Film Festival
Jan 26 - Feb 10, 2024

New 4K Restoration!

After the French New Wave, the sexual revolution, and May '68 came THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE, the legendary, autobiographical magnum opus by Jean Eustache that captured a disillusioned generation navigating the post-idealism 1970s within the microcosm of a ménage à trois. The aimless, clueless, Parisian pseudo-intellectual Alexandre (Jean-Pierre Léaud) lives with his tempestuous older girlfriend, Marie (Bernadette Lafont), and begins a dalliance with the younger, sexually liberated Veronika (Françoise Lebrun, Eustache's own former lover), leading to a volatile open relationship marked by everyday emotional violence and subtle but catastrophic shifts in power dynamics. Transmitting his own sex life to the screen with a startling immediacy, Eustache achieves an intimacy so deep it cuts.

"[A] harrowing psychodrama of destruction." - Jay Cocks, Time Magazine

"The self-reflexive cool of the early New Wave films is obliquely put on trial as a willful distraction from the festering contradictions of a society that is perilously disconnected from its history." - Jake Cole, Slant Magazine

"A classic that remains as burningly alive and shocking today as it was in 1973." - Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

Contact: Hank Okazaki