Claude Miller’s last film to close Cannes
The 65th Cannes Film Festival will draw its curtains on May 27 on a sweet-sad note by screening the late Claude Miller’s Therese Desqueyroux. The movie will be part of the splendid closing ceremony at the Grand Theatre Lumiere.hollywood Updated: Apr 19, 2012 15:05 IST
The 65th Cannes Film Festival will draw its curtains on May 27 on a sweet-sad note by screening the late Claude Miller’s Therese Desqueyroux. The movie will be part of the splendid closing ceremony at the Grand Theatre Lumiere.
Miller died early this month just after editing Therese Desqueyroux. He was 70, and left behind a deeply saddened French film community.
French actress Audrey Tautou (Amelie, Da Vinci Code, Coco Before Chanel) plays the title part in the movie, adapted from Francois Mauriac’s novel Therese Desqueyroux. Unhappily married, she essays a character struggling to break free from the suffocating, boring provincial life of the 1920s France. In desperation, she tries to poison her husband, but is caught and punished with solitary confinement in her house by him.
“By dedicating the closing night to him, the Festival de Cannes, along with his family, friends, producers, and distributers, is very pleased to pay tribute to the memory of Claude Miller,” the Festival said in a statement, adding, “This film is the final piece in his immense body of work, to which the Festival de Cannes and the director’s many admirers will pay tribute.”
Miller was best known for his contribution to the Nouvelle Vague cinema, assisting no less a legend than Francois Truffaut. Miller made movies which created a world that spoke to a wide audience. The Best Way to Walk, The Grilling, Deadly Run, The Accompanist and A secret were some that endeared to just about every class of viewers. They were intimate and often politically charged.
Though Miller won many awards – including the Jury Prize at Cannes and the Cesar (French version of the Oscar) – he was invariably linked to his mentor, Truffaut. Most reviews of his films somehow ended up talking about Truffaut.
In 1988, when Miller helmed The Little Thief, based on Truffaut’s last unfinished manuscript, Claude dreaded the comparisons which he thought would come. He told The New York Times: “I am afraid they would destroy me with, ‘What a shame, it was directed by Claude Miller.’ ”
But most reviews were good. And Cannes’ homage must be seen as a celebration of a master moviemaker.
The Festival begins on May 16 with Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran has covered the Cannes Film Festival for over two decades, and will be writing this year for the HindustanTimes.com)