Multi-award-winning director of some thirty films, Bertrand Tavernier has never ceased to defend a cinema that is largely open to the world, attentive to its ups and downs. Is that why so many of us mourned the news of his death on March 25, 2021? Maybe. Laurent Delmas, the “Mr. Cinema” of France Inter, notes: “His capacity for enthusiasm as well as revolt, his cinephile and citizen side have always been very popular. Hence the desire to do him justice through a series in nine episodes.
In the beginning was the father. René Tavernier (1915-1989), writer and literary critic who made an act of resistance by founding the review Confluences, in which he published, under the Occupation, Paul Eluard and Louis Aragon, is an admired figure. Also overwhelming: “The love of cinema allowed me to find a place in life”, said Bertrand Tavernier. As well as what this father had wished to bequeath to him: “Curiosity for all human activity, the taste for knowledge and which results from it, a certain elegance of thought, of gesture, the power to love and the charm of being loved. »
Women are another big deal at Tavernier – think of the roles he offered to Romy Schneider, Isabelle Huppert, Nathalie Baye, Sabine Azéma, Jane Birkin, Isabelle Carré, Marie Gillain. And then there is the scene, in Des enfants gâtés (1977), where Christine Pascal talks about female pleasure. “In the cinema of the 1980s, I have no equivalent, reflects Laurent Delmas. I don’t want to rewrite, but Tavernier undeniably had a special place on this question too. »
Crushes and rants
War occupies, alas, a place of choice in the films of Bertrand Tavernier who, let us remember, was born in 1941, in the middle of the Second World War, therefore, and shortly before the start of decolonization. No wonder, therefore, that war is found in many of his films, including La Guerre sans nom (1992), a documentary on the Algerian war.
And then there is, of course, Captain Conan, released four years later. To evoke this film is to immediately remember. Of Claude Rich, of François Berléand and of these words said by a Philippe Torreton at the top: “We went there with the knife, we hit it, the dirty work, it is we who won this war. »
You should be able to quote all the parts of the series, including the very beautiful episode 4 on the music, so essential to Tavernier: “The music must throw a spotlight on something that has not been explored by the dialogue or the acting: it must prolong an emotion. »
And it is with emotion (a lot) that we listen to this podcast. Because we find the voice of the filmmaker, of course, thanks to the marvelous archives. Because we find there his favorites and his rants, his sense of anecdote and detail, his taste for stories and for history (episode 6), his absolute passion for the 7th art.
Because, also, Laurent Delmas has made the bet to offer a place of choice to film extracts, leaving the listener time to fully immerse themselves in them. And therefore to suddenly find himself in the company of Jean-Pierre Marielle, Jean Rochefort, Philippe Noiret or Romy Schneider. Admit that this softens their disappearance a little.