Directed by Jean Eustache

Directed by Jean Eustache

12 Episodes

One of the most revered yet enigmatic figures to emerge in the wake of the French New Wave, Jean Eustache left behind a handful of unsentimental yet compassionate films that continue to be rediscovered and embraced by new generations of cinephiles. With a string of early shorts, he developed the rigorous visual style and themes—the bewildering complexities of romance and the obliviousness of awkward young men chasing it—that led to his magnum opus THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE, an epic, cuttingly intimate record of post–May ’68 disillusionment as glimpsed via a rocky ménage à trois. Though he completed only one other feature—the similarly personal, Bressonian coming-of-age gem MY LITTLE LOVES—and another fascinating cycle of shorts exploring the relationships between language, image, performance, and meaning, Eustache’s small but influential body of work constitutes a vital trove of self-inquiry, structural exploration, and humanistic yearning.

Directed by Jean Eustache
  • The Mother and the Whore

    Episode 1

    Directed by Jean Eustache • 1973 • France
    Starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, Françoise Lebrun, Isabelle Weingarten

    After the French New Wave, the sexual revolution, and May 1968 came THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE, the legendary, autobiographical magnum opus by Jean Eustache that captures, through the microc...

  • My Little Loves

    Episode 2

    Directed by Jean Eustache • 1974 • France
    Starring Ingrid Caven, Henri Martinez, Martin Loeb

    Jean Eustache’s second and final narrative feature, MY LITTLE LOVES, follows Daniel (Martin Loeb) as he navigates the bewildering world of early adolescence. Living with his grandmother (Jacqueline Dufra...

  • Robinson’s Place

    Episode 3

    Directed by Jean Eustache • 1963 • France

    Jean Eustache’s first completed narrative short, a portrait of emotionally immature men on the prowl for female companionship, cemented the template for his subsequent fictions. Aristide Demonico and Daniel Bart play Parisian friends who try to pick up t...

  • Santa Claus Has Blue Eyes

    Episode 4

    Directed by Jean Eustache • 1966 • France
    Starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, Gérard Zimmermann, Henri Martinez

    In this early narrative short by Jean Eustache, French New Wave icon Jean-Pierre Léaud stars as Daniel, a ne’er-do-well who loafs around Paris with his friends in search of easy money and pret...

  • The Virgin of Pessac

    Episode 5

    Directed by Jean Eustache • 1969 • France

    As political and social tumult rocked France in May and June of 1968, Jean Eustache used his first documentary to focus on persistent tradition, in the form of a centuries-old ceremony in his hometown of Pessac. Each year, Pessac’s civic leaders choose a...

  • Numéro zéro

    Episode 6

    Directed by Jean Eustache • 1971 • France
    Starring Jean Eustache, Odette Robert, Boris Eustache

    Before paying homage to his grandmother Odette Robert in the autobiographical MY LITTLE LOVES, Jean Eustache made NUMÉRO ZÉRO, a documentary portrait in which Robert answers questions about her diffic...

  • The Pig

    Episode 7

    Directed by Jean Eustache and Jean-Michel Barjol • 1970 • France

    Jean Eustache returned to his hometown, the farming community of Pessac, to create this cinema-verité record of the ritual slaughter of a pig, codirected with Jean-Michel Barjol. The documentary captures in unflinching detail—and i...

  • A Dirty Story

    Episode 8

    Directed by Jean Eustache • 1977 • France
    Starring Michael Lonsdale, Jean-Noël Picq, Laurie Zimmer

    Deceptively simple in form and content, Jean Eustache’s A DIRTY STORY is a fascinatingly complex investigation of the relationship between fiction and documentary, verbal and visual storytelling, a...

  • The Virgin of Pessac 79

    Episode 9

    Directed by Jean Eustache • 1979 • France

    A decade after making THE VIRGIN OF PESSAC, Jean Eustache filmed another documentary about his hometown’s annual coronation of a young woman of moral integrity. The differences between the two portraits of the same ritual are subtle yet telling: The sele...

  • Alix’s Pictures

    Episode 10

    Directed by Jean Eustache • 1980 • France
    Starring Alix Clio-Roubaud, Boris Eustache

    Winner of the 1982 César Award for Best Short Film, ALIX’S PICTURES is Jean Eustache’s playful meditation on the ambiguity of images and the elusiveness of interpretation. In a room, a young woman (Alix Cléo Rou...

  • Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Delights

    Episode 11

    Directed by Jean Eustache • 1981 • France

    The French television series “Les enthousiastes” asked art aficionados to offer their thoughts on, and interpretations of, paintings that they themselves selected. For Jean Eustache’s episode, Jean-Noël Picq (of A DIRTY STORY) chose the third panel of Hi...

  • Employment Offer

    Episode 12

    Directed by Jean Eustache • 1982 • France
    Starring Michel Delahaye, Jean Douchet, Bertrand Van Effenterre

    Jean Eustache’s final film—commissioned for the French television series “Contes modernes” (“Modern Tales”)—is a sharp satire of contemporary man’s dehumanization at the hands of specialized...