Deconstructing Films by French Director Claude Lelouch

Iconic director Claude Lelouch started his career at 13. At 28, he filmed the classic model of romantic cinema - A Man and a Woman. He involved superb actors of French cinematography. The contemporary trends couldn't be like they are without the creative influence of Claude Lelouch. So, why is he so outstanding?

Introduce Claude Lelouch

The majority considers A Man and a Woman a symbolic work of that director. As an excellent French wine, the taste bloomed with time, but his early works are also fascinating and distinguish his talent among others. He is one of the few who start talking about love in tender and intimate ways. With no fear of male feelings and let both partners reveal their pain.

Anouk Aimee / Photo: Shutterstock - Denis Makarenko
Anouk Aimee / Photo: Shutterstock – Denis Makarenko

The plot turns up the past and present life of a racer, Jean-Louis Duroc (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and a director assistant Anne Gauthier (Anouk Aimée). Their children were members of the residential school in Deauville, Normandy.

Jean Louis Trintignant / Photo: Shutterstock - Denis Makarenko
Jean Louis Trintignant / Photo: Shutterstock – Denis Makarenko

When they met each other, it was their second chance for love and happiness. Even though the light of passion shines, the ghost of past tragedies followed them too with both characters widows.

The former was ready for a new breath of life, while the latter, Anne, was afraid to let go of the past. She loved him but simultaneously searched the footprints and similarities of her dead husband. They were a man and a woman on the crossroads of love and tormenting thoughts.


Special Visuals

First, Claude Lelouch made the visuals there on the naked feelings and personalities. One of the tender love stories, he made it as real and close as all people do: fall in love, doubt then, want to be with a man on a new road, but still afraid to let go of the past.

Anne released the new relationships, however, she never thought how deep the trap of memories can hold her down. The colour episodes reflected the past happiness for both of the heroes. Like in the bright life, full of emotions, in one moment it turns into the grey ribbon of events and the temporal light of the sun.

Making the different visuals was successful for the abstract view, but technically, the lack of money to buy the videotape in colour forced Claude to divide the ideas before the harmony of plot and visuals.

Benefits to see:

  • stunning seashore in Deauville
  • tender feelings and conversations
  • the touching love story


Itinéraire d`un Enfant Gâté

Claude Lelouch / Photo: Shutterstock - Denis Makarenko
Claude Lelouch / Photo: Shutterstock – Denis Makarenko

This film introduced Claude Lelouch from a different side – as a subtle observer and a man of humour.

So, Sam Lion, played by Jean-Paul Belmondo, didn’t know his mother’s love. She left him at the circus, with a note to take care of him. Being the foster child in the circus troupe, he continued to grow there, while the accident didn’t divide his life on before and after. Sam fell from the bar, which stopped his career as an circus artist. Starting a new career in cleaning, he created the contemporary start-up and launched the business that brought billions of dollars.

Sam Lion – mature, wealthy entrepreneur, happy in his own family, decides to disappear from the face of the earth and on false documents arrives in the United States. Travelling to Africa, Sam meets his former worker, who was fired from the company and forced to leave France to earn extra money. The guy tries to blackmail him, but after that, they become participants in a joint scam.

Taming the Screen

Here, the protagonist of Jean-Paul Belmondo reveals to the world in the disparate character of a lonely man who reached fame, but was left to keep his little boy inside, with the hope of finding a mother. Sam Lion, a kind-hearted man with his own sense of humour and life perspectives.

Claude built the stages of the plot towards the changes that were experienced by Sam. The plot is fulfilled by the acute accents to bold – the story develops from here. Not spoiling, but as for me, the most significant turn was in the final of the film. When Sam tamed the lioness in a mean of his wife or mother that he’s always willing to find.

Benefits to see:

  • Handsome Jean-Paul Belmondo as the main character
  • A life story that shows we could remain open with the heart to meet this world in bright colours, even though the closest people left us
  • Outstanding technicians unusual to that period in cinematography
  • Exciting plot imbued with vulnerable and comic moments at the same time


What Love May Bring (Ces Amours-Là)

The main role of the main character, a woman, and her five most important romantic stories of her life, which she cherishes in memory. Lelouch, who loves the theme of the past so much, this time does not deviate from traditions. The whole film is an incessant memory of the main character and those she once loved.


A New War Story

This is an aesthetic story set during World War II. German occupied France and with charming moments of love, not so trivial for the society of those times, same-sex relationships and explicit sequences. It faced the memory of the past and it is emotional, almost tragic, when lovers part ways. It is on the judgment of the viewers what love could triumph and justify the earlier mistakes.

Benefits to see:

  • Not a trivial plot and brave concept to talk with the viewer
  • Charismatic actors
  • Another story of War, that you never saw before

Photos: Shutterstock, Moviestillsdb

Check out another article on French cinema here:

France: Creation of the World Cinema Motherland

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