Special Program JEAN-FRANÇOIS STÉVENIN © Viennale


The Freedom of Flexibility

Jean-François Stévenin is one of the few living French actors known for his original personifications of characters. We know what this exceptional treatment means: a protean, unclassifiable personality, the art of acting where the force of presence determines the sophistication of the game. In other words, bigger than life. All this proves to be true. Stévenin is a legend of flexibility, and not only in the physical sense. His filmography verifies it, with more than one hundred films (not counting the impressive television productions), and in extremely diversified categories – from big productions to low-budget auteur films. In short, since his debut in Alain Cavalier’s LA CHAMADE to roles in films by Truffaut, Rivette, Mocky, Demy, Godard, and Breillat, but also by Grandperret, Téchiné, Ruiz, Vecchiali, Schroeter, John Irvin and Huston up to the recent films of Ramos, Stévenin traverses the great ocean of cinema.

He has also been behind the camera three times: in PASS MONTAGNE in 1978, DOUBLE MESSIEURS in 1986, and MISCHKA in 2002. Three striking films with unparalleled stylistic and narrative freedom that reinvent cinematographic grammar in terms of image and sound editing. Each time film tells an unsettling, fragmented, more or less successful story of a community trying to build itself through friendly, loving or family relationships. But the attempt in these communities is never towards consolidation or solidification; on the contrary, escape plans are devised. These are the escapes that we are invited, with the greatest enjoyment, to attend.

Unavailable for nearly ten years, last September these films were restored with great care.

In the presence of Jean-François Stévenin.