May 24, 2022

“It was the last moment to save the work of Jean Eustache”

In recent weeks, the rare images filmed by Jean Eustache (1938-1981) that were roaming the Internet have vanished. To be reborn better, in the coming months: after a meticulous restoration, the works of the filmmaker close to the New Wave, author of the mythical The Mom and the Whore (1973), will finally find their way to theaters. The dispute which hindered the distribution of his filmography, never released on DVD and rarely shown on television, has just been lifted, following an agreement between the heir, Boris Eustache, and Les Films du Losange, as well as reveals it to World its new president, Charles Gillibert. Passed by MK2, founder of CG Cinéma, this 44-year-old producer took over this emblematic New Wave authors’ house in July 2021, with two partners, investor Alexis Dantec and entrepreneur Jacques Veyrat.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In search of Jean Eustache

You took over as head of Les Films du Losange in July 2021. What was the first question you asked your colleagues?

I asked them if Les Films du Losange, which appeared in the credits of The Mom and the Whore (1973), by Jean Eustache, held the rights. One of the founders, Pierre Cottrell, had co-produced the film. They replied that the Losange had returned its shares to Boris Eustache, the heir.

Have you met him?

We saw each other on November 5, 2021, thirty years to the day after the death of Jean Eustache. A strong, moving moment. Boris entrusted us with all of his father’s work, feature films, shorts, documentaries, films for television… We have begun to restore them, in 4K digital format, with cinematographers who have participated in their filming, like Jacques Besse or Caroline Champetier, in conjunction with the Italian laboratory L’Immagine ritrovata. There was a real risk of disappearance, both physical and memorial, of the work. It was the last moment to act.

What will be the release schedule?

It will be spread over time, one film after another, to culminate in a complete retrospective. We’ll start with a preview of The Mom and the Whore, in a big festival, before the summer. The work will be shown in theaters, but also on DVD. Beyond the meticulous work of restitution of sound and image, we are going to reflect collectively, with filmmakers, visual artists, journalists, on the modernity of Eustache. It must be extracted from the dark dandyism with which it remains associated. It’s immense pride and excitement.

With a few exceptions, Boris Eustache has long blocked any distribution. How did you convince him?

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