MOMA is regaling film buffs with a 22-film retrospective of the work of Julien Duvivier, a director ripe for re-evaluation. He made some of the most iconic French films of all time in a 50-year career, with an oeuvre spanning the history of French cinema, from the silents to the New Wave. Three of them feature Jean Gabin, the greatest French film star: La bandera (1935), La belle équipe (1936), and Pépé le Moko (1937) are all significant contributions to the fatalistic style of “poetic realism” that dominated French cinema in the 1930s, and Pépé remains a cult movie of a stature akin to Casablanca in the United States. On May 14, at 8 p.m., Stephen Sondheim will introduce Duvivier’s classic sketch film Un carnet de bal (1937), a favorite of the composer, who once intended to adapt it as a Broadway musical.
May 1-28, 2009