I’ve noticed that a common theme in many Louis Malle films is that the coming together of characters or in some cases, people, and the reasons for how they end up together. There's always different reasons. Many times this is sexual, oftentimes it can be trivial, sometimes even taboo. Malle hardly ever gets mentioned when putting together a list of even the best French Directors. He was a French New Wave filmmaker with films like “Elevator to the Gallows,” and “The Lovers” that pushed the boundaries and standards of the time, although seem tame by today’s (and to a certain extent, their own) time. He also, unlike contemporaries like Melville and Godard, he was a minimalist, and oftentimes, his films have only the bare essentials of directing. I’ve written on his autobiographical film “Au Revoir, Les Enfants,” one of the last films he made in France, but that might be the exception. He made famous documentaries about India that eventually got the BBC banned in India. He went onto America where he would make “Pretty Baby,” with Brooke Shields, and possibly his best film “My Dinner with Andre,” a film that’s an entire dinner conversation between two New York playwrights who are basically playing variations on themselves. His last movie was "Vanya on 42nd Street" a part-documentary, part-theatrical production about a group of actors who every year, book a theater or 42nd street for a week and perform Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya".
It’s a film that seems strangely relevant to today’s Las Vegas (My hometown) as we work to reinvent and restore our town. Two timeless characters who are simultaneously of their time and place and also capable of living and occurring anywhere and anytime, I think that’s probably the other motif in Malle’s work.Timelessness.