Director, screenwriter, director of photography, Jean-Daniel Pollet is a French filmmaker born in 1936. An undisputed master of French cinema, he was one of the figures of the New Wave. His career began in 1958 with a short fiction film – for which he won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival – Pourvu qu’on ait l’ivresse, starring Claude Melki in the role of Léon, a shy and burlesque character that he would put in five other films. His work, original and complex, is inspired by Jean Renoir, but also by Jacques Tati and Charlie Chaplin. It contains about thirty feature films, documentaries, essays and films for television. Pollet’s cinema seems to cross two currents: one, rather realistic, burlesque, with aspects of popular comedies, with the five films about Léon, played by Claude Melki, the other – more poetic, melancholic, with films like Méditerranée (1963), a film-essay whose aesthetics inaugurate the modernity of the art of cinema. He died in 2004, following an accident on a film set.


Léon is a shy, self-effacing and solitary bath boy. Martyred by his boss, bullied by his colleagues and despised by the girls in his neighborhood, Léon is not very lucky and is constantly failing. His dream is to become the only customer of Fumée, a prostitute he is in love with. Discovering one day the [...]

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