Anthology Film Archives


December 8 – December 12

Anthology and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) are honored to present a tribute to the world-renowned actor and artist, Lou Castel. Recognized as one of the most committed of screen actors throughout his 45-year career, he has played memorable characters in numerous landmark films, working with legendary filmmakers including Claude Chabrol, Philippe Garrel, Olivier Assayas, Raul Ruiz, Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Marco Bellocchio, who, referring to his film THE EYES, THE MOUTH, declared, “Once I chose Lou Castel to play the lead, the whole film was conditioned by this choice: his face alone tells a story, it is full of suffering.”

Equally relentless and radical, but far less well-known, is his activity as video-maker, a parallel track within his career, through which he has explored the depths of the act of seeing, and revealed its clichés. Undoubtedly, Castel embodies a particular idea of cinema, an idea often – if not always – coinciding with the search for the possibility of a different world.

The retrospective will open at FIAF on Tuesday, December 7, with a screening of Olivier Assayas’s IRMA VEP, followed by a reading of a text by Castel and a Q&A moderated by Sam DiIorio, Associate Professor of French at Hunter College; FIAF will then showcase other selections from Castel’s career as an actor every Tuesday in December (for more info, visit

Here at Anthology, we will be presenting some of the more experimental films and videos he has participated in, as well as six of Castel’s own video works, made between 1998-2005 and comprising almost one-third of his complete videography. This body of work, rarely screened even in France, is at once an intensely personal and fearless research into the possibilities of the art form and a profoundly eloquent record of his own life and ‘philosophy’.

We’re very pleased that Lou Castel will be here at Anthology for the opening night of our series on Wednesday, December 8, as well as for selected screenings on subsequent days.

Curated by Andrea Monti. Special thanks to Lou Castel, Marie Losier (French Institute Alliance Française), Thorsten Wagner, Rainer Huebsch, Philippe Dijon De Monteton, Stefano Canapa, Gérard Courant, Tonino De Bernardi, Alessandro De Francesco, Yuka Toyoshima, and the Lucca Film Festival.

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