3 Films by Louis Malle

Criterion's "3 Films by Louis Malle" set reveals the radical difference between movies <I>for</I> children and movies <I>about</I> children. Malle's fascination with these controversial coming-of-age tales seems to hinge on his young characters' capacity for sexuality, cruelty and violence.

With:
With: Bennoit Ferreux, Lea Massari, Pierre Blaise, Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejto.

Packed with what the MPAA calls “adult situations,” Criterion’s “3 Films by Louis Malle” set reveals the radical difference between movies for children and movies about children. Malle’s fascination with these controversial coming-of-age tales seems to hinge on his young characters’ capacity for sexuality, cruelty and violence — much of which is drawn from the director’s own experience. The bonus disc (available exclusively with the set) features more than three hours of interviews with Malle, biographer Pierre Billard and widow Candice Bergen that reveal the depth of his personal attachment to the material.

In “Au revoir les enfants,” which makes its long-awaited DVD debut, the director was finally able to tell the defining event of his childhood: Growing up in Nazi-occupied France, Malle never forgot the day soldiers invaded his boarding school to collect his Jewish classmates and arrest the priests who were hiding them.

“He never wanted to do it as a film until he felt really confident about how he handled it,” Bergen explains. Though Malle covered a wide range of subjects in his career, by collecting “Au revoir les enfants” with “Murmurs of the Heart” and “Lacombe, Lucien,” Criterion suggests how “the first two films helped give birth to the third,” as Billard puts it.

With its frank treatment of a young man’s sexual awakening, “Murmurs of the Heart” marks the first time Malle fictionalized his own adolescence. In an old French TV interview, he denies the pic’s autobiographical origins, but later confesses the Oedipal satire fictionalizes “an old fantasy of mine.”

“Maybe it’s better to make a film about making love with your mother than dreaming about it all your life,” he kids. (Pic was also an inspiration for Noah Baumbach, whose commentary on the “Squid and the Whale” DVD credits “Murmur’s” influence.)

Unavailable in the U.S. since its 1974 release, the equally incendiary “Lacombe, Lucien” (which Malle considered his best work) seeks to understand a young French peasant who exacts “social revenge” on those who once looked down on him by joining the German police — a theme that recurs in “Au revoir.”

These two earlier pics, which function almost like feature-length extras for consumers most familiar with “Au revoir les enfants,” prove every bit as mature as Malle’s best-known work.

3 Films by Louis Malle

March 28; Six-disc set: $79.95

Production: A Criterion Collection release of "Murmur of the Heart" (1971), "Lacombe, Lucien" (1974), "Au revoir les enfants" (1987).

Cast: With: Bennoit Ferreux, Lea Massari, Pierre Blaise, Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejto.

More Digital

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Sets Stricter Requirements for Creator Partners in Response to Advertiser Concerns

    Packed with what the MPAA calls “adult situations,” Criterion’s “3 Films by Louis Malle” set reveals the radical difference between movies for children and movies about children. Malle’s fascination with these controversial coming-of-age tales seems to hinge on his young characters’ capacity for sexuality, cruelty and violence — much of which is drawn from the […]

  • Amazon Fire TV - Live TV

    Amazon Fire TV Adds Live Programming Guide for HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax

    Packed with what the MPAA calls “adult situations,” Criterion’s “3 Films by Louis Malle” set reveals the radical difference between movies for children and movies about children. Malle’s fascination with these controversial coming-of-age tales seems to hinge on his young characters’ capacity for sexuality, cruelty and violence — much of which is drawn from the […]

  • chromecast

    Chromecast Devices Can Cause Wi-Fi Connectivity Issues

    Packed with what the MPAA calls “adult situations,” Criterion’s “3 Films by Louis Malle” set reveals the radical difference between movies for children and movies about children. Malle’s fascination with these controversial coming-of-age tales seems to hinge on his young characters’ capacity for sexuality, cruelty and violence — much of which is drawn from the […]

  • China's iQIYI Takes Further Step to

    China's iQIYI Takes Further Step Toward IPO (Report)

    Packed with what the MPAA calls “adult situations,” Criterion’s “3 Films by Louis Malle” set reveals the radical difference between movies for children and movies about children. Malle’s fascination with these controversial coming-of-age tales seems to hinge on his young characters’ capacity for sexuality, cruelty and violence — much of which is drawn from the […]

  • Snapchat Content Chiefs Talk Redesign, Scripted

    Snapchat Content Chiefs Talk Redesign, Scripted Programming

    Packed with what the MPAA calls “adult situations,” Criterion’s “3 Films by Louis Malle” set reveals the radical difference between movies for children and movies about children. Malle’s fascination with these controversial coming-of-age tales seems to hinge on his young characters’ capacity for sexuality, cruelty and violence — much of which is drawn from the […]

  • Sheryl Sandberg

    Sheryl Sandberg, Jack Dorsey Won't Seek Re-Election to Disney Board

    Packed with what the MPAA calls “adult situations,” Criterion’s “3 Films by Louis Malle” set reveals the radical difference between movies for children and movies about children. Malle’s fascination with these controversial coming-of-age tales seems to hinge on his young characters’ capacity for sexuality, cruelty and violence — much of which is drawn from the […]

  • 75th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS --

    You Can Listen to Oprah’s Golden Globes Speech on Spotify

    Packed with what the MPAA calls “adult situations,” Criterion’s “3 Films by Louis Malle” set reveals the radical difference between movies for children and movies about children. Malle’s fascination with these controversial coming-of-age tales seems to hinge on his young characters’ capacity for sexuality, cruelty and violence — much of which is drawn from the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content