Jacques Becker: Liberating Cinema

A retrospective of the films of Jacques Becker, whose richly detailed worlds, indelible characters, and a humanist outlook elevated genre filmmaking to an art form, this CinéSalon series features some of Becker’s most celebrated films along with lesser known gems.

Long-time assistant to Jean Renoir, Jacques Becker emerged as one of the most talented filmmakers in the post-WWII era. From his superb period love story Casque d’Or (1952), gripping prison escape Le Trou (1960), screwball comedy Edouard et Caroline (1951) and gangster film Touchez pas au Grisbi (1954), Becker has shown skillful attention to detail, character development, story-telling, plot and pace. It’s no surprise that Becker has been compared to the likes of Howard Hawks and Preston Sturges. He is lauded by his peers including François Truffaut, Bertrand Tavernier, Jean-Pierre Melville and Martin Scorsese.

FIAF is pleased to bring back many restored versions of his best-loved films. Each screening will be followed by a wine & beer reception in the spirit of the French ciné-clubs and literary salons.

Films in French with English subtitles

Film Schedule

CinéSalon

Casque d’Or

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
4 & 7:30pm
Followed by a wine and beer reception

FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Jacques Becker’s masterpiece is the heartbreaking story of reformed criminal Manda and the prostitute Casque d’Or. From love at first sight to the guillotine, this story set in the Belle Epoque Paris features an incandescent performance by Simone Signoret.

CinéSalon

Rendezvous in July

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
4 & 7:30pm
Followed by a wine and beer reception

FIAF Florence Gould Hall

This leisurely social comedy from Jacques Becker is an irresistible portrait of the generation of Parisians that came of age in the postwar period, roaming dark Paris streets with a love of jazz and theater, dreams of exploration, and hearts waiting to be broken.

CinéSalon

Le Trou

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
4 & 7:30pm
Followed by a wine and beer reception

FIAF Florence Gould Hall

In one of the greatest prison break films of all time, four hardened cellmates about to carry out a long-planned escape must decide whether to trust the well-bred young convict newly assigned to their cell in Paris’s infamous La Santé prison. Directed by Jacques Becker.

CinéSalon

Goupi mains rouges

Tuesday, January 29, 2019
4 & 7:30pm
Followed by a wine and beer reception

FIAF Florence Gould Hall

The arrival of a city slicker unleashes the cupidity driving the Goupis, an extended clan of rural innkeepers and landowners. This surprisingly dark vision of the French countryside is lifted by Becker’s gift for comedic characterization and dynamic camera style. Directed by Jacques Becker.

CinéSalon

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
4 & 7:30pm
Followed by a wine and beer reception

FIAF Florence Gould Hall

This outlier in Jacques Becker’s filmography finds the legendary Fernandel leading a dazzling widescreen adaptation of the tale of Ali Baba, complete with eye-popping colors, belly-dancing numbers, and the displaced Marseille accents of its Provençal cast.

CinéSalon

Falbalas

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
4 & 7:30pm
Followed by a wine and beer reception

FIAF Florence Gould Hall

An affair between a celebrated fashion designer and his best friend’s fiancée leads to tragedy in this gripping melodrama set in the world of haute couture. Jacques Becker’s stylish direction contrasts Paris glamor and the passion simmering beneath the surface.

CinéSalon

Edouard and Caroline

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
4pm
Followed by a wine and beer reception

FIAF Florence Gould Hall

As struggling young couple Edouard and Caroline eagerly prepare for his potentially career-launching piano recital at her rich uncle’s penthouse, a missing waistcoat and a daringly altered dress threaten to put an end to their marital harmony. Directed by Jacques Becker.

CinéSalon

Antoine and Antoinette

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
7:30pm
Followed by a wine and beer reception

FIAF Florence Gould Hall

In Jacques Becker’s zippiest, most stylish romantic comedy, the loss of a winning lottery ticket sends a young couple on a hunt through the streets of Paris, producing a vivid picture of working class life in the post-war years.

CinéSalon

Touchez pas au Grisbi

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
4 & 7:30pm
Followed by a wine and beer reception

FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Jacques Becker defined the atmospheric shimmer and existential complexity of French film noir with this study of Max, a world-weary but debonair gangster whose plans for retirement are foiled by a ruthless mobster after the loot from his last big heist.

CinéSalon is supported by Air France and Delta Air Lines, BNP Paribas, Canal +, Renault Nissan Mitsubishi, and Sofitel. CinéSalon is made possible by the NY State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NY State Legislature. Special thanks to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the Institut français. Le Val is the exclusive wine partner and Kronenbourg 1664 is the exclusive beer partner for CinéSalon.

Series curated by Delphine Selles-Alvarez.