It would be a shame if the film were to be seen only by those already interested in French cinema. Anyone with an eye for grace, industry, resilience, rich shadows, and strong cigarettes should go along. Like the kid on that terrace in Lyon, you see the light.

–Anthony Lane ‘“Baby Driver” and “My Journey Through French Cinema”‘ The New Yorker

Mr. Tavernier turned movie love into criticism but, like all good critics, he never fell out of love. It’s delightful to share in that passion and a pleasure too that he’s more interested in ideas and emotions than stories and plots. If you don’t know the films he talks about, you may not grasp what they’re about; it doesn’t matter. He also doesn’t identify everyone onscreen, mostly, I think, because he really wants you to watch and listen and, anyway, you can read their names in the credits. I suggest you sit through them with paper and pen so you can write down the title of every movie you’ve already seen (you’ll want to watch them again) and every title you’ve never heard of (because worlds await).

–Manohla Dargis ‘Review: Those Movies, Himself — Bertrand Tavernier’s Tour of French Cinema‘ The New York Times



Tavernier confides, “As Renoir told me one days, ‘You have to make a film thinking you’ll change the course of history. You need that arrogance. But you must also be humble enough to think, if you touch two people, you’ve done something extraordinary.’”

— Peter Debruge ‘Film Review: Bertrand Tavernier’s ‘My Journey Through French Cinema’’ Variety

A Sunday in the Country

And there are many more. His work is an abundance of invention and generosity, and in a way the opposite of the auteur theory that he once supported, since Tavernier never forces himself or a style upon us.

If there is a common element in his work, it is his instant sympathy for his fellow humans, his enthusiasm for their triumphs, his sharing of their disappointments. To see the work of some directors is to feel closer to them. To see Tavernier’s work is to feel closer to life.

-Roger Ebert ‘A Sunday in the Country




The so-called Bolivarian revolution has become less about ideology and more about money. Venezuelans often call it a “robolución” rather than a “revolución,” using the Spanish word for robbery. If Cuba is an ideologically motivated communist dictatorship, Venezuela is something different: as oil-rich as Saudi Arabia, as authoritarian as Russia and as corrupt as Nigeria.

-David Luhnow and José de Córdoba ‘The Last Battle for Democracy in Venezuela’‘ The Wall Street Journal


His revolution’s mournful impact can be seen everywhere. Venezuela’s national baseball league now plays to empty stadiums and is considering suspending this year’s season. The Teresa Carreño theater, an architectural masterpiece in Caracas, used to produce some of the region’s best operas and dramas; it now mostly hosts government rallies. In the nearby Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art, water drips into buckets near paintings by Picasso and Mondrian. The museum is so empty that a thief replaced a Matisse portrait with a fake without anyone noticing for several years.

Alberto Barrera, the author of a biography of Mr. Chávez who now lives in Mexico City, thinks that the time is fast approaching when he and the opposition may need to say goodbye to their hopes. “I wonder when I will wake up and realize, ‘They beat us.’ That it’s all over and the country I knew is gone,” he said.

-David Luhnow and José de Córdoba ‘The Last Battle for Democracy in Venezuela’‘ The Wall Street Journal