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Bertrand Tavernier (1941 - )
Lifespan: 1941 -
Related: French cinema - director
Films: Deathwatch (1980)
Bertrand Tavernier (b. April 25, 1941 in Lyon) is a French director, screenwriter, actor, and producer. Paradoxically, his filmography, which covers extremely diverse subjects and styles, is very much in favour of a strong and independent French cinema, while at the same time showing a fascination with certain aspects of North American culture.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand Tavernier [Oct 2006]
Coup de Torchon (1981) - Bertrand Tavernier
Coup de Torchon (1981) - Bertrand Tavernier [Amazon.com]
An inspired rendering of Jim Thompson's pulp novel Pop. 1280, Bertrand Tavernier's Coup de torchon (Clean Slate) deftly transplants the story of an inept police chief- turned-heartless killer and his scrappy mistress from the American South to French West Africa. Featuring pitch-perfect performances by Philippe Noiret and Isabelle Huppert, this striking neo-noir straddles the line between violence and lyricism with dark humor and visual elegance, perfectly captured by Criterion's glorious new anamorphic transfer.
'Round Midnight (1986) - Bertrand Tavernier
'Round Midnight (1986) - Bertrand Tavernier [Amazon.com]
Round Midnight is a 1986 film directed by Bertrand Tavernier that tells the story of a tenor saxophone player in Paris in the 1950s who is befriended by a poor Frenchman who idolizes the musician and tries to help him to get out of his life of alcohol abuse. The protagonist jazzman, "Dale Turner," was based on a composite of real-life jazz legends Lester Young (tenor sax) and the tortured and enigmatic Bud Powell (piano). In fact, while much of the film is fictionalized, it is drawn directly from the memoir/biography Dance of the Infidels written by Francis Paudras, who in real life befriended Bud Powell during his Paris expatriate days and on whom the character "Francis" is based.
The tone of the film is wistful and tragic as it follows Turner's struggle as an artist creating incredible beauty, but destroying himself with alcoholism, and the desperate attempts of his friend to save him. Tavernier defied the movie studio by insisting that real-life jazz tenor sax great Dexter Gordon (who himself played with Bud Powell in Paris in the 50's) play the role of Turner (he also helped to revise and rewrite the script). The supporting cast is likewise composed of real jazz legends such as Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, John McLaughlin, Wayne Shorter, Pierre Michelot, Eric Le Lann, and others who play the music live throughout the film. The result is an authentic portrait that captures the Paris jazz scene of the 50's, along with a stellar soundtrack (released in two parts as the official soundtrack "Round Midnight" and "The Other Side of Round Midnight" under Gordon's name). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Round_Midnight_%28film%29 [May 2006]
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