Final Day! Tuesday, December 10

COUSIN JULES

  • 1:00
  • 2:50
  • 4:40
  • 6:30
  • 8:20
  • 10:10

$7 Member   $12.50 Regular

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY DOMINIQUE BENICHETI

COUSIN JULES

COUSIN JULES: a rare combination of sophisticated movie-making technique (shot in CinemaScope and recorded in stereo) and content that is a veritable ode to the beauty of rural France, the simplicity of daily peasant life, and the nearly wordless intimacy of a lifelong relationship. Recording over a 5-year period, director Benicheti palpably captures the rhythms and rituals of blacksmith Jules Guiteaux and his wife Félicie as Jules dons wooden clogs and leather apron to begin work in his shop, while Félicie tends a vegetable garden and prepares their meals. Awarded the jury prize at the Locarno Film Festival in 1973 and widely acclaimed around the world, the film nevertheless remained unreleased in the U.S. until now. 

FRANCE  • 1973  • 91 MINS. •  IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES  • CINEMA GUILD

REVIEWS

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“A quiet jewel…an indelibly immersive experience.  The magnificently recorded soundscape also weaves its own spell:  roosters, songbirds and rustling leaves lend an almost musical rhythm to the couple’s days.  Luminous and exquisitely framed, (Benicheti’s) patient shots of rural vistas often recall 19th-century French painting.  One thinks of Vincent van Gogh’s radiant fields, Jean-François Millet’s laboring peasants and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s precise but poetic landscapes.  Combining objectivity with beauty, unsentimentality with warmth, it’s ultimately a tribute to life itself.”
– Kristin M. Jones, The Wall Street Journal

“Sumptous… In many ways a wonder to see and hear.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“Transfixing. A documentary classic that slipped through the cracks.”
– J. Hoberman, ARTINFO

“The 1973 documentary COUSIN JULES – rediscovered and released theatrically for the first time in all its CinemaScope glory…reveals the virtues of simplicity, routine, and quietly communing with the natural world.  Carried out with extraordinary rigor and sensuality.  An unabashed ode to the French countryside, COUSIN JULES immerses the audience in mundane tasks that are transformed into unaccountably pleasing, tranquil ones.” 
– Scott Tobias, The Dissolve

“Dazzling.”
– Jesse Cataldo, Slant

“A stunning film. A steady succession of absolutely beautiful images to see and to hear. (The film is) an invitation to learn to hear again, to pay fresh attention to field birds, rooster crows, the ring of hammer on anvil, the sizzle of a blade against a grindstone… It is enormously affecting.”
– Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times (reviewing from a 1974 screening at Filmex)

“An exquisite gem, a masterpiece of humanity.”
– Dan Talbot, Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

Trailer

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