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filmmaker : Raymond Depardon
Composer : Gustavo Santaolalla
France, 1981
Production : Centre Pompidou, Double D. Copyright Films


Press photographers and paparazzi: a laborious and cynical world with its codes, rules and risks. Raymond Depardon shadows the reporters from the Gamma agency –long hours of hiding out to snatch a shot of Caroline of Monaco, Jacques Chirac visiting small shopkeepers, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing leaving for China, François Mitterrand at the Palais du Luxembourg, a Cartier party at Place Vendôme with Catherine Deneuve and Serge Gainsbourg, Coluche’s press conference and so on. An amazing glimpse of 1980s political life and high-society.

Tënk's film review

In pure direct cinema, Depardon films his colleagues from the Gamma photo agency. Despite being a photographer himself and co-founder of the agency, he shows them no indulgence. On the contrary, he films them in their often thankless or trivial tasks that involve waiting, hiding out, the often disappointed hopes of a scoop or a picture that will sell… And then returning to the office for the inevitable discussions about their professional and personal states of mind.
There’s something disorientating about watching this film now, speaking to us, as it does, of an era both distant and recent – the era before rolling news coverage, embedded journalists, social media and total control of information by those communicating it. But the seeds are all there in the situations that Depardon films, and the director’s foresight is one of the film’s great strengths.

Sylvain Bich
Film projectionist

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Raymond Depardon

Raymond Depardon, né en 1942, est un reporter photographe (membre de Magnum Photos) et un cinéaste français accompli. Son œuvre, passage obligé pour qui s’intéresse au cinéma, est variée, dense et engagée. De ses reportages photographiques au coeur de différents conflits, à son premier documentaire "Jan Palach" en passant par ses films portant sur les institutions hospitalières, carcérales et judiciaires, il y a pour le cinéphile matière à explorer ! Récipiendaire de plusieurs prix durant sa carrière (dont un César avec "Délits flagrants"), il présente à Cannes en 2008 "La Vie moderne", film qui nous amène dans les sillages d'une France souvent oubliée.

Other films in the collection: Highlights