When the Camera Is On, Cinema Is Happening: The Complete Works of Jean Eustache
Screening Dates
  • July 15, 2023 6:30
  • July 20, 2023 6:30
New Restorations

Its tone of emotional, material, and sexual deprivation [confirms] Eustache’s singular place within the New Wave galaxy.”

Jean-Michel Frodon, MoMA, on Santa Claus Has Blue Eyes

Jean Eustache’s directorial debuts, two mid-length works that positioned the cinéaste as a gifted latecomer to an already cresting nouvelle vague, were billed together under the joint title Bad Company. The first of the pair, 1964’s Robinson’s Place, chronicles two suburban skirt-chasers who glom onto a young mother and chaperone her to a dance. When she ditches them for another guy, they exact cruel revenge. Shot on 16mm under the influence of Godard (who loved it), it teases at the transgressions for which the director will later gain renown. Santa Claus Has Blue Eyes, its salacious 1966 follow-up, casts New Wave frontman Jean-Pierre Léaud as a lecherous public-square Santa whose disguise allows him to get up close and inappropriate with female passersby. The buzzed-about film, winner of Critics’ Week Prize at Cannes, should have clinched Eustache an entrée into the industry; the invitation wouldn’t arrive until his next Léaud picture, The Mother and the Whore.

Robinson’s Place
(Du côté de Robinson)
France 1964
Jean Eustache
40 min. DCP

Santa Claus Has Blue Eyes
(Le Père Noël a les yeux bleus)
France 1966
Jean Eustache
47 min. DCP

In French with English subtitles