The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, October 13-20

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Le garçu (1995)
Directed by Maurice Pialat
The final work by the great French filmmaker scaled back the narrative and thematic immensity of his two preceding landmarks, Van Gogh and Under the Sun of Satan, opting instead for a return to the highly personal, familial-minded interests of his formative years. Starring the director’s long-time surrogate Gérard Depardieu as a middle-aged philanderer simultaneously navigating obligations to his young son (played by Pialat’s own son, Antoine) and the affections of both his ex-girlfriend (Géraldine Pailhas) and current lover (Fabienne Babe), the film instills autobiographical detail into a casually nimble temporal framework, compressing a lifetime of broken promises and emotional transgressions into a painfully recurrent present tense. With his uncommon sense of intimacy and ability to keenly negotiate the nuances of human behavior, Pialat unfolds an unassumingly devastating tale of misplaced passions. The film’s final image, a moment of tear-stained resignation to an impossible plight, is as stirring an artistic encapsulation as any, and one last poignant flourish in a career defined by them. Jordan Cronk (October 18, 7pm at the Museum of the Moving Image’s Pialat retrospective)