The New Waves Non fiction

ETRE VIVANT ET LE SAVOIR

Alain Cavalier | France | 2019 | 82 min.
O.V in French subtitled in English and Spanish

To really know how to extract all the essence of existence, to know that we are alive, it is necessary to face death. Or at least that is what Alain Cavalier seems to say in his autobiographical films, very special and luminous cinematic jewels that rely on the smallness of the intimate and the quotidian, combined with the greatness of the universality. Here Cavalier prepares a film with his good friend the writer Emmanuèle Bernheim on the basis of her autobiographical book, in which she tells how her father asked her to "put an end to everything" after a cardiovascular accident. One morning, Emmanuèle calls Alain; the shooting will have to be postponed because she has undergone an emergency surgery.

Alain Cavalier

Born in France in 1931, after studying History, he entered the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques in Paris (IDHEC). He collaborated with Louis Malle in Elevator for the Scaffold and Lovers. His first feature films were Le combat dans l'île (1961) and La mort no deserta (1964). He began a career in quality commercial cinema, working with actors such as Romy Schneider, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Alain Delon. His style was gradually refined over the years in the fiction field, reaching his famous Thérèse (1986), his greatest success, which won the Jury Prize at Cannes and six César Awards, and following that path in Libera me (1993), a film without dialogue. In 1979 he began another vein of his cinema, more experimental and autobiographical, with Ce répondeur ne prend pas de messages, an approach that would dominate his cinema from the 21st century onwards, with the arrival of light video cameras. Intimate films such as Le filmeur (2004), Irène (2009), Le Paradis (2014) or this one, his last film, presented at Cannes, are interspersed with games such as the one made with Vincent Lindon in Pater (2011).