Jean Gourguet is a forgotten filmmaker who made movies from the silent era until the late 1950's. The latter part of his career was devoted to a kind of exploitation cinema based on some scandalous aspects of the French society of his time (teenage loves, prostitution, pregnancy and abortion out of marriage etc). He also tackled the melodrama genre with a certain degree of success (SON DERNIER RÔLE, 1946). A lot of young actors were started in cinema by Gourguet, who liked nothing better than being surrounded by his close family and artists in their prime. Jean-Pierre Mocky (interviewed in this first-class documentary) is seen in MATERNITE CLANDESTINE and later went on to becoming a successful (at times) director, like Gourguet attracted to "hot" topics not often tackled on film (child abuse, hooligan violence, TV fever...). Filmmakers and admirers of Gourguet also give their views, and it's mostly enlightening stuff, as well as a rare window on a time long gone. Gourguet's films are delightful, a few of them have been issued on DVD by the same label which put out this JEAN GOURGUET, UN ARTISAN DU CINEMA as a bonus feature to go along LES PREMIERS OUTRAGES, a 1950's effort by JG. Christophe Bier helmed this doc, which is as good as his other documentaries (one about the history of dwarfs in cinema, the other one about a German producer of kinky exploitation movies). Bier is also an actor, journalist (he wrote an excellent history of censorship in France) and has been for a time a second unit collaborator of Jean-Pierre Mocky. So, things are reaching full circle.
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