Your Favorite Filmmaker's Favorite Films Screen At Alamo Drafthouse in September

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Here's a brief history lesson: In the 1950s, there was a little French magazine called Cahiers du Cinéma. It was written by film critics, for film critics, which the general public ate up because it taught them the theory of film and what was good and bad at the local theater. Near the end of that decade and through the early '60s, a bunch of those film critics started making movies, breathing new life into cinema still cribbed today called the French New Wave.

This short period redefined filmmaking in radical, groundbreaking ways and is responsible for some of the most important filmmakers to date — filmmakers your favorite filmmakers imitate to this very day. Here’s a few: three-time Oscar nominee François Truffaut (The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim, Shoot the Piano Player), Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless, Contempt, Alphaville, Week End, A Woman Is a Woman, Masculin Féminin), Agnés Varda (Cleo from 5 to 7), Jacques Demy (Lola), Alain Resnais (who is mostly known for his haunting documentary on Nazi death camps, Night and Fog), Louis Malle (Au Revoir Les Enfants), and a personal favorite, Jean-Pierre Melville (The Samurai, Army of Shadows, Bob the Gambler).

Here’s an easy shortcut: watch any film by Truffaut or Goddard and you’ll be the life of the party because these two are the most notable from the French New Wave movement, the time where the term auteur (fancy French word for “author”) really took off. When someone is classified as an auteur, it means he/she strays away from the exhausted and conventional Hollywood formula and is credited for the entire vision of the movie he/she makes. Truffaut or Goddard are the most popular of the funky bunch and the paramount distribution company responsible for bringing their work across the pond to you and me, the Criterion Collection, is madly in love with their work.

I buried the lede, sorry. Starting in September, the Video Association of Dallas and Alamo Drafthouse will be doing a month-long French New Wave crash course, showing some of the most recognized works from that cinematic period — three of which we've already discussed.

Here’s what’s showing:  
Saturday, September 5, Goddard’s Contempt, which co-stars blonde bombshell Brigitte Bardot (...And God Created Woman), one of Hollywoods greats, Jack Palance (City Slickers and Tim Burton’s Batman), and Fritz Lang, the man responsible for multiple masterpieces: Metropolis, Ministry of Fear, and M (which gave a prominent figure in the Golden Age of Hollywood his first starring role, Peter Lorre);

Saturday, September 12:
Truffaut’s rich take on a decades-long friendship with a love triangle tossed in, Jules and Jim 

Saturday, September 19: 
Alain Resnais’s Last Year at Marienbad

Saturday, September 26:
You’ll get to feast your eyes on not one but two films: Agnes Varda’s Cleo from 5 to 7, followed by a fella who was obsessed with cats  and owls, Chris Marker’s La Jetée, which is 28 minutes long and manages to fit in one major movie convention still widely used today and an event that thankfully has never happened: time travel and World War III, respectively.

Every film starts at 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at drafthouse.com/dfw.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.