Elvire Jouvet 40

  • 65'
  • France
  • 1986
When Louis Jouvet taught at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art in Paris, he kept a stenographer on hand to record his exchanges with his actors. Brigitte Jacques took the notes from seven of these lessons and combined them with Jouvet's classic work Molière et la comédie classique to form the basis of the play Elvire Jouvet 40. Philippe Clévenot is Jouvet and the always enchanting Maria de Medeiros is the student working through the role of Elvire in Molière's Dom Juan. Jacquot shoots in stark black & white, and stays intently concentrated on the faces and bodies of his actors. In a way, this small 1986 television film is a crystallisation of career-long preoccupations: acting, theatre, and the education - sentimental, emotional, spiritual - of a young woman. 'I could give you a simple indication,' counsels Jouvet at the beginning of the film. 'Every time when you get the feeling that something is too easy, that it can be done without effort, then something is wrong. Playing a role, no matter what it is, is always accompanied by pain and hardship.' He could be speaking to any number of young Jacquot heroines, from Ledoyen in La fille seule to Le Besco in A tout de suite. (KJ)
Benoît Jacquot
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2005