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Arnaud Desplechin Τribute

Discovered in 1991 thanks to the mid-length film La Vie des morts, Arnaud Desplechin has been present at Cannes ever since his first feature film, The Sentinel, which also marked the first time a film of his was selected to the Official Competition; four more films were to follow. He then directed My Sex Life... or How I Got into an Argument, which brought to the fore an entire generation of new actors, among whom Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Devos. It is, after all, in his rapport with his actors wherein lies the unique quality of Desplechin’s cinema, and they are regularly compensated with the most prestigious of film awards: the César for Best Male Newcomer for Emmanuel Salinger in The Sentinel and for Mathieu Amalric in My Sex Life..., the César for Best Actor for Mathieu Amalric in Kings and Queen, the César for Best Supporting Actor for Jean-Paul Roussillon in A Christmas Tale, and the Prize of the 61st Cannes IFF for Catherine Deneuve in A Christmas Tale.

1.  A Christmas Tale / Arnaud Desplechin, France
2.  Jimmy P. – Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian / Arnaud Desplechin, France
3.  Kings and Queen / Arnaud Desplechin, France
4.  La Vie des morts / Arnaud Desplechin, France
5.  My Golden Days / Arnaud Desplechin, France
6.  My Sex Life... or How I Got into an Argument / Arnaud Desplechin, France
7.  The Sentinel / Arnaud Desplechin, France

A visionary auteur, the French director Arnaud Desplechin displays a very particular and constantly evolving style of filmmaking. A signature trait of his oeuvre is the fact that he remains faithful to his characters, some of whom return to his later films, more mature and ready to continue their life’s narrative. Another feature that permeates his body of work is a deeply empathetic way of looking at people’s everyday problems, personal relationships, as well as matters concerning the family, the workplace and the social milieu. Major actors, such as Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric and Benicio Del Torro are transformed in front of his camera, giving outstanding performances – a sign of how closely and creatively Desplechin guides his actors. The tribute held by the Thessaloniki International Film Festival follows his career in film, from his debut feature La Vie des morts, which established him internationally, to his most recent film, My Golden Years, which focuses on youth and the years that leave their marks on us. And of course all the films in between, which illustrate how Desplechin the film director has evolved through time.
Dimitri Eipides
Festival Director