As part of its Tuesday Portrait of the Artist series, the Nuart is presenting Marcel Boudou's superb "Andre Malraux" along with Malraux's "Espoir" (1939), a remarkable docudrama of the Spanish Civil War, which he wrote and directed.
A true Renaissance man who was at once an intellectual, artist and critic and a brave freedom fighter in Spain and in the French Resistance, Malraux died at 75 in 1976. In evoking the spirit and character of the ever-evolving Malraux, Boudou keeps the talking heads to a bare minimum.
A member of the International Brigade and organizer of the Spanish Loyalist Air Force--he flew 65 missions--Malraux filmed "Espoir," the adaptation of his novel "Man's Hope," in Barcelona in 1938. Aptly described as a cross between Flaherty and Hawks, it is slow to get into, but it finally sweeps us up into its eloquent depiction of the brave men of a bomber squadron. Malraux had never made a film before (and never did again), but he had written on film theory. He had a gifted cameraman, Louis Page, to help him express his strong sense of the visual, and no less than Darius Milhaud to heighten the impact with a haunting score. The print is razor-sharp. (213) 478-6379, 479-5269.