Mere months before Sautet’s death from cancer in July 2000, Positif film critic N.T. Binh and his collaborator Dominique Rabourdin conducted hours of audio interviews with the dying director, in which he discussed his body of work in extraordinary and candid detail. These conversations were then illustrated with film clips and combined with additional interviews with Sautet’s friends, collaborators and admirers to form this insightful, richly textured portrait. Featuring actor Jean-Pierre Marielle (A Few Days with Me), director Bertrand Tavernier, screenwriters José Giovanni, Jacques Fieschi and Jean-Loup Dabadie, as well as Sautet’s widow Graziella, the aptly-titled Claude Sautet or the Invisible Magic opens an invaluable window into the life and work of a great—and too easily overlooked—French filmmaker.
“Wonderfully revealing…With plentiful use of film clips, well chosen and in pristine condition, and based on hours of audio interviews with Sautet, plus the observations of his collaborators and of his widow, this is an important reminder of the career of a great director. If it encourages retrospective screenings of Sautet's work, it will have performed a great service.”—David Stratton, Variety