Tag Archives: Jean Seberg



Nearly everything in Romain Gary’s “memoir” PROMISE AT DAWN is a tall tale, an exaggeration, or a outright lie. But as Adam Gopnik wrote earlier this year, there’s a difference between a fraud and a great fabricator like Gary, who played many characters—Resistance war hero, French consul general in Los Angeles, husband of Jean Seberg—in a life that began in 1914 in Lithuania and ended in 1980 in Paris with a self-inflicted gunshot.

“Even if the will toward art and the will to deceive others can be closely aligned, we readily distinguish between the liar and the littérateur. The fabulist wants to convey the dramatic experience of events, while the fraud wants to convey a false evaluation of them. The fabulist wants to dramatize himself; the fraud, to deceive others…

“Anyone who is an inspired storyteller, as Gary was, knows that the essence of good storytelling is not assembling a heap of facts but having the imagination to leap through an arc of bright truths to create a great curve of invention…”— Adam Gopnik*

Jules Dassin filmed Gary’s story in 1970. Éric Barbier has brought the memoir back to the screen in epic form, and will present the North American premiere as COLCOA 2018’s opening night selection.

The film stars Pierre Niney, French singer Nemo Schiffman as the teenage Gary, and Charlotte Gainsbourg as his larger-than-life stage mother who dreamed her son’s future—France, fame, and fortune—and then pushed him into it.


PROMISE AT DAWN, Monday, April 23, at 7:30 pm; and Saturday, April 28, at 1:40 pm.

DIRECTORS GUILD OF AMERICA, 7920 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood.


City of Lights/City of Angels French Film Festivalcolcoa.org

*Adam Gopnik, “The Made-Up Man,” The New Yorker, January 1, 2018:


Pierre Niney as Romain Gary in Promise at Dawn. Image credit: Pathé.

Image result for pierre niney promise at dawn



“A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end… but not necessarily in that order.” — Jean-Luc Godard

The American Cinematheque kicks off its upcoming Aero series For the Love of Godard with a members’ screening of LE REDOUTABLE / GODARD MON AMOUR. Written and directed Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist, 2011), the new film is based on the autobiographical novel Un an après (“a year later”) by Anne Wiazemsky. The book covers the period Wiazemsky starred in LA CHINOISE (1967), Godard’s investigation of a group of Parisian Maoists.

Wiazemsky and Godard were wed while shooting LA CHINOISE—a paradigm of the director’s creative approach to editing—but the marriage was strained from the start by a director distracted by public indifference to his recent work.  At the same time, Godard became entrenched in the burgeoning revolution that had begun in the mid-Sixties at the university at Nanterre, and which culminated in the general strikes and Latin Quarter street battles of 1968—events for which LA CHINOISE had provided an agitprop blueprint.

GODARD MON AMOUR—starring Louis Garrel and Stacy Martin—gained Waizemsky’s blessing after Hazanavicius promised her the movie would be a comedy.  She joined him at the film’s Cannes premiere last year, one of her last public appearances before her death in October 2017.

Subsequent screenings in the series include LA CHINOISEÀ BOUT DE SOUFFLE (Breathless), BANDE À PART (Band of Outsiders), WEEKEND, and VIVRE SA VIE, as well as a 3-D presentation of ADIEU AU LANGAGE (Goodbye to Language).


With a post-screening conversation with Michel Hazanavicius.

Monday, April 16, at 7:30 pm.

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.


Wednesday, April 18, at 7:30 pm.


Saturday, April 21, at 7:30 pm.


Thursday, April 26, at 7:30 pm.


Friday, April 27, at 7:30 pm.

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

From top: Louis Garrel (foreground left) as Godard, Stacy Martin as Wiazemsky, and Micha Lescot as Jean-Pierre Bamberger (“Bambam”) in Le redoutable/Godard Mon Amour, image courtesy Cohen Media GroupAnne Wiazemsky and Jean-Luc Godard filming La Chinoise, image courtesy Pennebaker Films/PhotofestJean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg in Breathless; Anna Karina with Claude Brasseur and Sami Frey at the Louvre in Band of Outsiders.