In 1967, Labarthe traveled to London with Robert Benayoun, perhaps the most passionate French supporter of Jerry Lewis (which is saying something), to interview the actor/director for a proposed episode on his work. The interviews went well, and were fairly straightforward; then, one night, Lewis invited the filmmakers to accompany him to an appearance he was making at a film school. What they filmed was extraordinary: with his trademark combination of buffoonery and aggression, Lewis cajoles the students, answering their questions with jokes, changing the subject as it suits him. One of the more unusual films in the series, and one of the best. (56m)
David Lynch: Don’t Look at Me
Guy Girard | 1989 | France | 59m
While torrents of words have been dedicated to the profoundly provocative if enigmatic work of David Lynch, the auteur in question has rarely been much help. This was the challenge for Labarthe and debut director Guy Girard when they set out to film Lynch as he was completing the scoring of Wild at Heart. Through the intermediary of critic John Powers—personally picked by Lynch—Lynch creates an elaborate façade around himself and his films: sudden changes, missed clues, a deadpan that seems to be concealing something. Inexorably, the line between the director and his work starts to disappear.
Image courtesy of PARAMOUNT / THE KOBAL COLLECTION