Variety's McCarthy makes an absorbing profile

Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient

on September 22, 2008 by Susan Green
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Serious devotees of the celluloid art form are probably aware of eclectic impresario Pierre Rissient. They’re also the logical audience for this documentary about his life’s work by Variety Chief Film Critic Todd McCarthy. The “samurai warrior for filmmakers” (as assessed by Quentin Tarantino) is credited with discovering talents such as Clint Eastwood and Jane Campion. He’s also a Cannes kingpin whose resume stretches back to the French New Wave, when Rissient served as assistant director on Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless.

This septuagenarian arbiter of silver-screen taste, who shares funny 1967 memories about an inebriated John Ford, is praised by the likes of Sydney Pollack, Oliver Stone, James Toback, Gilles Jacob and his former PR partner Betrand Tavernier. Rissient championed numerous auteurs, fought against the Hollywood blacklist and even created two esoteric pictures of his own. McCarthy approaches his influential subject with affection and reverence, but never fawns in this absorbing profile of a true pioneer.

Distributor: Deep Focus
Cast: Bertrand Tavernier, Olivier Assayas, Buck Henry, Jane Campion, Quentin Tarantino, Sydney Pollack, Oliver Stone, Serge Losique, James Toback, Gilles Jacob and Werner Herzog
Director/Producer: Todd McCarthy.
Genre: Documentary
Rating: Unrated
Running time: 113 min
Release date: September 19 NY

Tags: Bertrand Tavernier, Olivier Assayas, Buck Henry, Jane Campion, Quentin Tarantino, Sydney Pollack, Oliver Stone, Serge Losique, James Toback, Gilles Jacob, Werner Herzog, Todd McCarthy, documentary, blacklist, Pierre Rissient, filmmaking
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