SAT JUL 22, 2023 1:00 PM


$8.00 (member) ; $13.00 (general admission)

Los Feliz 3 | ‘Jean Eustache: An American Cinematheque Retrospective’ 

Tickets are no longer on sale for this event.


THE VIRGIN OF PESSAC, 1969, Dir: Jean Eustache, 66 Minutes, Janus Films, France. 

In French with English subtitles.

As political and social tumult rocked France in May and June of 1968, Jean Eustache used his first documentary to focus on persistent tradition in the form of a centuries-old ceremony in his hometown of Pessac. Each year Pessac’s civic leaders choose a young woman they consider an exemplar of moral virtue, with a day-long celebration commemorating the changing of the guard from the previous year’s “virgin” to the present one. Eustache observes the exacting selection process, the fostering of communal bonds, and a bold implication by Pessac’s presiding priest that the ritual upholds the same Christian values for which leftist students and workers were currently fighting.

THE VIRGIN OF PESSAC, 1979, Dir: Jean Eustache, 71 Minutes, Janus Films, France. 

In French with English subtitles. 

Eleven years after the first THE VIRGIN OF PESSAC, Jean Eustache filmed another documentary about his hometown’s annual coronation of a young woman of upstanding moral integrity. The differences between the ritual in 1968 and in 1979 are subtle yet telling: the selection process is slightly more fraught in ‘79 than in ‘68, while local leaders are more concerned with the current economic depression than wide-scale social upheaval. The ceremony also provides a stage on which progressive changes are made official, with a local order, the Fellows of Pleasant Pessac, inducting their first female member. Finally, this time around Eustache employs color photography to capture the ceremony, an appropriate choice given its verdant outdoor spring setting.