Vincent Lindon is an actor who can no longer be ignored on the map of world cinema. The brand new New York indie movie theater, the Metrograph, can be credited for paying tribute to the talent of a figure who occupies a unique place in French cinema : A working-class hero, he has been compared to Jean Gabin.
Vincent Lindon is the everyman face of modern French movies. With no fewer than 60 films to his credit, he carved out a career far from the limelight, the red carpets and media spotlight, before winning the Best Actor award in Cannes last year, from a jury headed by Joel and Ethan Coen, for his performance in Stéphane Brizé’s The Measure of a Man – a film for which he just received the Cesar Award of Best Actor, and which will open his first richly-deserved US retrospective before its North American release through Kino Lorber.
A Rebel with a Cause
This program cleverly reflects both an intense physical actor and an astute citizen, a rebel with a cause who has shaped his career with committed and steadfast choices: Welcome, focusing on the dire situation of migrants; Pater, an extreme low budget film in which he embodies a radical prime minister; A Few Hours of Spring, which offers an insight into the issue of end-of-life care; Bastards, a film noir where he stands out as a lonely seaman who is the personification of power; and, of course, The Measure of a Man, a film that proves his genius as an actor, blending brute force with sensitive frailty.
An organic quest for truth
With Vincent Lindon, the body comes first. His approach to acting is utterly organic, based on gestures and physical language. He therefore embodies a certain idea of masculinity that female directors such as Claire Denis or Alice Winocour have exploited to its full. That is also what makes him such a perfect fit for a wide range of cinematic styles, from social realism to action films and thrillers, and even the Bressonian lineage of contemporary French cinema. From one film to another, whether taciturn or riotously talkative, athletic or fragile, Vincent Lindon carries his suffering as testimony of a genuine authenticity and a quest for essential truth. He’s one of those rare actors who is never faking, and whose art is life itself.
A program set up with the support of Institut Français. Many thanks to mk2 films.
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