Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le silence de la mer is undoubtedly one of the most assured film debuts of all time; an adaptation of an underground novel by Jean Bruller, written (under the pseudonym Vercors) during the Nazi occupation of France, the film shows a director already at the height of his visual powers. As film scholar Ginette Vincendeau points out in this excerpt from a new interview on our release, much of the film's power comes from the cinematic devices Melville uses to communicate the darkness of the story, particularly in his portrayal of the central figure of a German officer who has been billeted in the home of a middle-aged Frenchman and his niece.
All About Mankiewicz
One of the most celebrated Hollywood writer-directors of his time, Joseph L. Mankiewicz offers a window into the way he sees his characters in this illuminating clip from an archival interview.
Charisma to Burn: Béatrice Dalle’s Incandescent Debut in Betty Blue
The young French actor didn’t require much direction for her first screen role. As the film’s director and cinematographer recall, she quickly proved herself to be a born star.
How Paweł Pawlikowski Reimagined His Parents’ Fiery Romance for the Big Screen
As the director explains to filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the love story at the heart of the Oscar-nominated drama Cold War has its roots in his own family history.
A Daytrippers Trio Looks Back on Their Indie Miracle
Director Greg Mottola reunites with two cast members of his debut feature—Liev Schreiber and Parker Posey—to reminisce about the joys and trials they experienced on the set of this shoestring marvel.