In October, we celebrate two of the greatest director/star pairings in the last fifty years of French cinema with four delightfully entertaining features. Up first, we will screen two pre-Holy Motors collaborations of auteur Leos Carax and his physically astonishing muse, Denis Lavant: Boy Meets Girls and Mauvais Sang. These will be followed by two vehicles for the no-less astonishing Jean-Paul Belmondo, who will make your eyes pop out of your head when you witness him perform his own stunts in the 60s action comedies That Man from Rio and Up to His Ears, both directed by Philippe De Broca.

  • Sat., Oct. 4 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

With his first film, 23 year-old Carax appeared as a fully formed auteur, a true heir to the cinephilic verve of the French New Wave.  Poetic, funny, and lustrously photographed in black-and-white, the film follows a lovelorn Parisian’s (Carax surrogate Lavant) quest to locate a girl whose voice he heard on his apartment intercom.  Enfant terribles for life, the director and star proved they had lost none of their youthful vigor when reuniting nearly 30 years later for the gonzo joyride Holy Motors.  “Meteoric… ecstatic cinema and ecstatic living join together” (Richard Brody, The New Yorker). (MK)

  • Sat., Oct. 11 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Binoche and Lavant play a pair of star-crossed lovers in Carax’s swooning, searing followup to Boy Meets Girl.  Set during a heat wave in a noirishly futuristic Paris, the genre-bending plot ricochets gangsters and viral outbreaks as Carax continuously tops himself with cinematic spectacle, including an exhilarating, now-iconic tracking shot in which Lavant catapults himself down the street with acrobatic abandon to the pulse of David Bowie’s “Modern Love”.  “Carax’s most purely delightful work—bittersweet, haunting, and as original and eccentric as homage movies get” (Dennis Lim, Village Voice). (MK)

  • Sat., Oct. 18 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

This hilarious and enormously popular globetrotting action comedy features one of the legendary Belmondo’s most physical and charismatic performances. He plays an ordinary serviceman whose fiancée is kidnapped in Paris, leading him on a chase to Rio de Janeiro and the surrounding Amazon jungle. For its 50th anniversary, That Man From Rio has been lovingly restored to its original widescreen, color brilliance, all the better to see Belmondo performing his own heart-stopping stunts!

  • Sat., Oct. 25 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In this follow-up to That Man From Rio, Belmondo plays a suicidally bored playboy who regains his lust for life after his Chinese philosopher friend decides to kill him for the insurance money. On the run from assassins for the entire length of the film, Belmondo, again performing his own jaw-dropping stunts, is a non-stop whirling dervish. De Broca’s madcap farce is up to its ears in elaborate sight gags and scenic locales. Belmondo’s hairstyle deserves a credit of it’s own and Andress lights up the screen with a towering presence few starlets of any era can rival. (BR)