When the Camera Is On, Cinema Is Happening: The Complete Works of Jean Eustache
Screening Dates
  • July 22, 2023 8:30
  • July 24, 2023 6:00
  • July 30, 2023 6:00
New Restoration

Compassionate but never sentimental, My Little Loves is an essential entry in the coming-of-age canon, a film that ennobles adolescence by so truthfully portraying its attendant indignities.”

Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

Jean Eustache’s feature follow-up to his blistering opus The Mother and the Whore is a coolly detached coming-of-age tale plumbed from the filmmaker’s own remembrances of youth. Honest in ways few portraits of adolescents are or try to be—Eustache’s frankness in matters of sex remains unshaken—the film chronicles the uprooting of a 13-year-old boy (Martin Loeb), from his bucolic life in provincial France to a stifled, lonely existence with his mother (Ingrid Caven) in Narbonne. Kept from school and made to work in a dreary bike-repair shop, he begins navigating the orbit of older boys and the rules and rituals of sexual courtship. Though Eustache supposedly reconstructed his childhood with scrupulous fidelity to memory, the Bressonian approach to performance here undercuts any adherence to naturalism. The gorgeous colour cinematography is by master Néstor Almendros. Director Maurice Pialat, whose films are routinely bracketed with Eustache’s, features in a small but memorable role.

In French with English subtitles

A remarkable feat of imaginative reconstruction … Loeb’s calm and intensely intelligent performance, the richly textured yet cool-eyed colour cinematography, and the incisive dialogue combine to convey an extraordinary density of lived experience.”

Richard Brody, The New Yorker

A marvelous film, unjustly neglected.”

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune