Just to be clear, Luca Guadagnino will not be the subject of our next episode: he will be our guest. He’s gonna be on the show. Guadagnino. Hyphenates. It’s happening.
The Italian filmmaker behind 2009’s I Am Love, 2015’s A Bigger Splash, and this year’s Call Me By Your Name has become one of cinema’s most revered contemporary auteurs, and 2017 appears to be Luca’s most significant year to date: his latest film has been topping out half the best-of-the-year lists, he’s just directed a remake of Dario Argento’s Suspiria with Dakota Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz and Tilda Swinton, and he’s gearing up to make a new adaptation of Swan Lake.
But, of course, all of this will pale in comparison when he closes out the year with his most thrilling role to date: Hell Is For Hyphenates guest host.
So which filmmaker has he chosen to talk about on the show?
French writer and director Maurice Pialat!
Pialat is not a name that comes up often. He is a relatively obscure figure compared to many of the names we’ve covered on the show, which is a little strange given the not-insubstantial success Pialat enjoyed during his career.
His first film, L’Enfance Nue (The Naked Childhood) (1969) won the Prix Jean Vigo at Cannes, and his Sous le soleil de Satan (Under the Sun of Satan) (1987) later picked up the Palme d’Or. His romantic crime thriller Police (1985), which was co-written by Catherine Breillat, was a smash hit, with over 1.8 million admissions in France alone.
Pialat won numerous awards, his films made piles of money, his debut was produced by French New Wave icon François Truffaut, he enjoyed a close collaboration with Gérard Depardieu during the height of Depardieu’s fame, and critics favourably compared his work to that of Cassavetes and Renoir.
Yet in an unscientific, anecdotal survey we conducted amongst the film nerds we happen to run into after Luca told us his filmmaker choice, at least 80% of them did not even recognise Pialat’s name, let alone his films.
How does a filmmaker this influential just disappear? If his films are so great, why do we no longer talk about them? And, most importantly, why does one of the world’s most exciting working filmmakers adore him so much?
Join us on December 31 when we find out!