The Timeless Cinema of Marcel Pagnol

8/12/11 to 8/31/11

BAM/PFA joins in celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Chez Panisse with this series devoted to the poignant 1930s dramas of French filmmaker Marcel Pagnol. Filmed on location in the director's native Marseilles or the surrounding countryside, with local actors (their regional accents intact), and highlighting timeless social rituals (including the production and consumption of earthy meals featuring local ingredients), Pagnol's warm and comic depictions of life among the gens de Provence bring the region alive.

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Past Films

  • The Well-Digger's Daughter

    • Wednesday, August 31 7 PM

    Marcel Pagnol (France, 1940). Josette Day, the eponymous offspring in this film made during the Occupation, becomes pregnant by “the hardware store's son,” who is forthwith sent to the front and didn't intend to marry her anyway. This warm comedy, both pastoral and earthy, pits the rustic wit of Raimu, as the peasant father, against the sarcastic superiority of Charpin, as “the hardware store.” Raimu, Fernandel, and Josette Day in an earthy, compassionate comedy of unwed pregnancy, the first film begun in France under the Nazi Occupation. (120 mins)

  • The Baker's Wife

    • Sunday, August 28 4 PM

    Marcel Pagnol (France, 1938). Introduced by Alice Waters and Tom Luddy. The Baker's Wife is a warm and ribald comedy based on the idea that food is the life of a community. The great tragicomedian Raimu stars in this warm comedy. Orson Welles once called The Baker's Wife "a perfect movie," and Raimu "the greatest actor of the cinema." (124 mins)

  • The Baker's Wife

    • Sunday, August 28 1 pm

    Added Screening! Marcel Pagnol (France, 1938). Introduced by Nicolas Pagnol and Tom Luddy. The Baker's Wife is a warm and ribald comedy based on the idea that food is the life of a community. The great tragicomedian Raimu stars in this warm comedy. Orson Welles once called The Baker's Wife "a perfect movie," and Raimu "the greatest actor of the cinema." (124 mins)

  • Cigalon

    • Saturday, August 27 6 PM

    Marcel Pagnol (France, 1935). Introduced by Nicolas Pagnol. Pagnol considered this film about the rivalry between neighboring restaurants and their chefs-Cigalon, a master chef from Paris, and Madame Toffi, a former laundress -the funniest film he ever made. (73 mins)

  • Angèle

    • Saturday, August 27 7:50 PM

    Marcel Pagnol (France, 1934). The poetry is in the details of this tender Provençal portrait. "Pagnol's finest film" (Georges Sadoul). (135 mins)

  • César

    • Sunday, August 21 7:30 PM

    The conclusion of the trilogy poignantly evokes remembrances and regrets as the cycle of life and love begins again. "Today the modest charms and graces of the Pagnol trilogy seem more precious than ever" (Time Out). (116 mins)

  • Fanny

    • Sunday, August 21 5 PM

    Marc Allégret (France, 1932). The continuation of the trilogy is Fanny's tragedy but César's story: he is played by the incomparable Raimu. Also playing on August 14. (122 mins)

  • Marius

    • Sunday, August 14 5 PM

    Alexander Korda (France, 1931). The first installment in the beloved Fanny Trilogy introduces César, boisterous proprietor of a Marseilles bar; his son Marius, drawn by the call of the sea; and Fanny the fishmonger, the apex of a triangle between Marius and widower Panisse. "These films display such old-fashioned virtues as truth to life and boundless humanity" (Time Out). (122 mins)

  • Fanny

    • Sunday, August 14 7:30 PM

    Marc Allégret (France, 1932). The continuation of the trilogy is Fanny's tragedy but César's story: he is played by the incomparable Raimu. Repeated on August 21. (122 mins)

  • Merlusse

    • Friday, August 12 7 PM

    Marcel Pagnol (France, 1935). Introduced by Alice Waters and Tom Luddy. Pagnol delicately balances realism and humanity to tell the story of a bearded, one-eyed teacher who is nicknamed Merlusse (codfish) by the kids who fear and revile him. (75 mins)

  • Harvest

    • Friday, August 12 8:45 PM

    Marcel Pagnol (France, 1937). Fanny's Orane Demazis is paired with Fernandel in Pagnol's haunting tribute to the harsh and giving land, "one of the true and essential French film classics" (Pauline Kael). Based on a novel by Jean Giono. (123 mins)