Naked ChildhoodMaurice Pialat
Focus and Retrospectives
D: Maurice Pialat
G: Arlette Langmann, Maurice Pialat
F: Claude Beausoleil
S: Henri Moline
P: Véra Belmont, Guy Benier, Claude Berri, Mag Bodard, François Truffaut
I: Michel Terrazon, Linda Gutenberg, Raoul Billerey
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François, the main character in Maurice Pialat’s debut feature, shares a lot in common with Antoine, the hero of another incandescent debut: that of François Truffaut, credited here as producer. But unlike Antoine, Françoise’s contained rage explodes all the time, unannounced, when he throws his adoptive family’s pet through a stairwell or shoots pieces of metal at the cars that pass under a bridge. Unlike Jean-Pierre Léaud, Michel Terrazon didn’t enjoy a relevant film career afterwards, but his creature’s adventures (as well as his pain and his sporadic moments of joy) are still as amazing today as they were then the film came out, almost fifty years ago. The filmmaker’s documentary/realist lineage can be seen in many scenes, in the kitchen conversations or in the wedding that closes the film. The rest is a potent narrative arc that describes the daily grief of a boy born and raised to disobey his fathers and mothers. And the world.
Born in Cunlhat, France in 1925, he studied fine arts, and then dedicated himself to theater and then film. After a series of short films, he debuted with Naked Childhood (1969). Some highlights of his filmography are To Our Loves (1983, exhibited at the 27th Festival) and Under the Sun of Satan (1987, winner of the Gold Palm at Cannes). He died in 2003.