Gardiens de Phare (Jean Grémillon, 1929)
The Cinema Ritrovato is only a day old, and already we have our first major (re)discovery in the figure of director Jean Grémillon, subject of a retrospective series here in Bologna. Grémillion was never considered a major figure of the French cinema of the thirties on a par with, say, Feyder, Duvivier, Carné, Clair, Renoir and Vigo. If his name rings a bell at all even in cinéphile circles, it is because of the two films he made during the Vichy period, Lumière d’été (1942) and Le ciel est à vous (1943), the first a scathing critique of the ruling classes that was banned for the duration of the occupation (more on this remarkable film in a later report). But Grémillon had been an important director for much longer.