Brilliantly Quirky: Jeanne Balibar on Film

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This fall Anthology and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) co-present “Brilliant Quirky: Jeanne Balibar on Film,” celebrating the output of the singular French actress, filmmaker, singer, and artist.

The daughter of a Marxist philosopher and a physicist, Jeanne Balibar attended France’s École Normale Supérieure and National Conservatory of Dramatic Art before embarking on an acting career at the Comédie Française. With her unconventional beauty, exquisite voice, playfulness, and a keen intellect, Balibar has been a muse for French auteurs including Jacques Rivette, Raúl Ruiz, Mathieu Amalric, Pedro Costa, Arnaud Desplechin, Olivier Assayas, Jean-Claude Biette, Michael Winterbottom, and many others, inhabiting roles that accentuate her barbed wit and underscore her cerebral nature. She received the 2018 César Award for Best Actress for her performance in Mathieu Amalric’s BARBARA, and as a singer has recorded two solo albums. She recently completed her second feature film as a director, which is soon to be released.

This retrospective, organized by Balibar in collaboration with FIAF film curator Delphine Selles-Alvarez, spans her career, concentrating on works by the filmmakers who have been most influential to her. Here at Anthology, we will be screening NE CHANGE RIEN, Pedro Costa’s visually striking documentary about Balibar herself; Jacques Rivette’s late masterpiece, VA SAVOIR; Mathieu Amalric’s WIMBLEDON STADIUM; Pierre Léon’s L’IDIOT; two features by the remarkable Jean-Claude Biette, whose films are rarely screened in the U.S.; and 2013’s PAR EXEMPLE, ÉLECTRE, which Balibar co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred in with Pierre Léon. In addition, we will be hosting the week-long theatrical premiere run of Amalric’s BARBARA, from October 12-18.

“Brilliant Quirky: Jeanne Balibar on Film” coincides with Balibar’s one-woman performance, LES HISTORIENNES, taking place on Saturday, October 13 at 7pm in FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall, as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival 2018. In the world premiere of this live presentation, Balibar brings attention to three pioneering female French historians and their writings.