24th Athens International Film Festival

The Fire Within

1/10/2016, 18:00, Odeon Opera 1 2/10/2016, 21:15, Odeon Opera 2

An alcoholic, self-destructive author wanders around Paris for a day, striving to reconnect with old flames, friends and acquaintances, and desperately trying to find a reason to stay alive. The first of the many masterpieces by Louis Malle is an unbearably melancholic, yet charming ballad for those who feel like they don’t belong anywhere. Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

Le feu follet 2

Alain, an alcoholic, self-destructive writer, is discharged from a clinic in Versailles having undergone treatment for his addiction. He is sober but reluctant to face the outside world. In the next 24 hours he wanders through Paris, trying to reconnect with old flames, friends, and acquaintances in an attempt to find a reason to live. However, they all appear to have settled down, renouncing their ?wild? past.

Drawing an implosive, anguished performance from Maurice Ronet (also starring in ?Elevator to the Gallows?), Louis Malle outlines with remarkable clarity and precision the portrait of a man in a stifling existential cul-de-sac within an alienating society. Cruel, unsparing but always compassionate, ?Le Feu Follet? is a sad but fascinating ballad for those who feel they don’t belong anywhere. This is one of Louis Malle’s darkest and most personal films, the first of many masterpieces in career.

Director: Louis Malle
Screenwriter: Louis Malle, Pierre Drieu de la Rochelle (novel)
DoP: Ghislain Cloquet
Editor: Suzanne Baron
Principal Cast: Maurice Ronet, Lena Skerla, Yvonne Clech

France | 1963 | B&W | DCP | 110' | French


      Λουί Μαλ: Les Fleurs du Malle

      Λουί Μαλ: Les Fleurs du Malle

      Elevator to The Gallows

      Elevator to The Gallows

      An illicit couple. A seemingly perfect crime. A desperate night in Paris. Suffocating suspense, fatal romanticism, Jeanne Moreau's aristocratic beauty and Miles Davis' now legendary jazz soundtrack converge in Louis Malle's claustrophobic debut, an emblematic film noir which breathed new life in the genre, forever leaving its mark on French cinema.

      The Lovers

      The Lovers

      To stave off the ennui of domestic life in the countryside a young wife treats herself to trips to Paris and an affair with a sought-after bachelor, until her meeting with a young archaeologist turns her life upside down in a single night. The film, which shocked the conservative morals of its time with its liberated depiction of female sexuality, establishing Louis Malle as the poet of forbidden sensuality and Jeanne Moreau as a timeless sex symbol, is a splendidly shot adult fairy tale about love as an invincible driving force, capable of standing up to any social convention. Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

      Murmur of the Heart

      Murmur of the Heart

      14-year-old Laurent is growing up in 50s France, smothered by his Italian mother's affection, ignored by his father and teased by his older brothers. He tries to discover the world, lose his virginity and rebel. Louis Malle reformulates the adventure called adolescence with rare tenderness, a disarming sense of humour and a guilt-free stance on taboos, presenting one the most beautiful coming-of-age stories ever told on screen and causing a scandal because of an incest scene. Nominated for Oscar for Best Screenplay.

      Lacombe, Lucien

      Lacombe, Lucien

      In 1944 France, 18-year-old Lucien asks to join the Resistance - when he is turned down, he joins the Gestapo instead. Drunk on power, he will find himself at a crossroads when he falls for a Jewish girl. In one of his masterpieces and one of the first films openly addressing the collaboration of some French citizens with the German occupiers, Malle calmly sketches the complex psychological profile of the most ambivalent character in his filmography and that of an entire country under the threat of being divided.