The Review/Podcast/

TIFF UN/CUT: Olivier Assayas, post-punk cinephile filmmaker

The French auteur gets personal

Jul 5, 2017

This week on TIFF UN/CUT, hear a master class from the subject of a current retrospective. Something in the Air: The Cinema of Olivier Assayas traces the French auteur’s eclectic catalogue, from his early music videos for electro-pop stars Jacno and Winston Tong, to his documentary portrait of Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, to his brilliant work in narrative film and his recent career-high collaborations with Kristen Stewart on Clouds of Sils Maria and Personal Shopper, which have brought him even greater acclaim and a whole new audience.

This week, you can catch Assayas’ first feature Disorder, a portrait of France’s mid-’80s post-punk scene (and its title undoubtedly a Joy Division reference), as well as his 2002 cyberthriller demonlover (which sports a score by Sonic Youth!).

At the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, where Assayas presented his film Something in the Air — a semi-autobiographical portrait of young political activists in the early '70s — the director also participated in an onstage master class moderated by Brad Deane, Senior Manager of TIFF Cinematheque and programmer of the current Assayas retrospective. You’ll hear how Olivier’s screenwriter father made him think twice about making movies early on in his career, which Bresson films blew his mind, and why he never intended to be a film critic for Cahiers du Cinéma.