Cinema Jolly > 21:45


Serge Bourguignon


Sunday 25/06/2017


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

After studying cinema at IDHEC, Serge Bourguignon became an assistant director and directed documentary shorts. When his short Le Sourire won a prize at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival, he began to be offered features.
After Henri-Georges Clouzot turned down Bernard Eschasseriaux’s novel Les Dimanches de Ville d’Avray, Russian-French producer Romain Pinès proposed it to Bourguignon. Bourguignon re-conceived the story without gangsters and prostitutes, retaining the plot about the amnesiac pilot who forms an innocent friendship with an 11-year-old orphan girl and who visits her on Sundays.
Bourguignon was set on Steve McQueen for the lead, but the busy American star was not available and most likely would have exceeded the budget. Then spotting a still image of Hardy Krüger in the magazine “Sight & Sound”, Bourguignon knew immediately that he had found his leading man. The part of the young girl was cast after Bourguignon saw Patricia Gozzi in Melville’s Léon Morin, Priest (1961).
Henri Decaë’s striking, sensitive cinematography breathes poetry into almost every shot, with many images photographed through glass or reflections in water shattering the reality of the narrative. When introduced to the film’s composer Maurice Jarre, Bourguignon gave him the simple instruction to “imagine the film as a silent movie” and to make the music “an expression to underline the psychological moments”.
Shunned by the “Cahiers du cinéma” critics who no doubt were not happy that their own films Jules and Jim and My Live to Live were overlooked by France for selection for the 35th Academy Awards, Les Dimanches de Ville d’Avray would go on to win the Oscar for best foreign-language film in 1964.

Neil McGlone

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo di Bernard Eschasseriaux. Scen.: Serge Bourguignon, Antoine Tudal. F.: Henri Decaë. M.: Léonide Azar. Scgf.: Bernard Evein. Mus.: Maurice Jarre. Int.: Hardy Krüger (Pierre), Nicole Courcel (Madeleine), Patricia Gozzi (Cybèle/Françoise), Daniel Ivernel (Carlos), André Oumansky (Bernard), Michel de Ré (Fiacre), Gilbert Edard (il padre di Cybèle), Malka Ribowska (Madame Athéna). Prod.: Romain Pinès per Terra Film, Fides – Fiduciaire d’Éditions de Films, Orsay Films, Les Films Trocadero 35mm. D.: 110’. Bn