best film:  The Conformist is a visual high-wire act from Bertolucci. It’s easily Bertolucci’s strongest effort (and that’s saying something because 1900 and Last Tango in Paris are excellent films). However, it doesn’t work nearly as well without Trintignant in full command in front of the camera. Behind The Conformist I think Red is his second best film and one of the better film of the 1990s. Third is My Night At Maud’s- superior filmmaking from Rohmer.  

best performance:  The Conformist. Trintignant has had a career that has now spanned over 50 years (55 years between a man and a woman and happy end) but The Conformist is Trintignant at the height of his powers. It’s the performance Harrison Ford couldn’t quite pull off in Blade Runner– a noir set atop a set design bliss that needs both strength and ambiguity.

stylistic innovations/traits: Trintignant could play a cerebral internalized performance as well as anyone. He’s done it in a pictorial masterpiece with Bertolucci, a very verbal film with Rohmer, pensive moral film with Kieslowski, and now twice with Haneke’s icy slant. It didn’t quite make his top 5 performances but I think his work in The Great Silence is a big part of his resume and proof that his style could work in any genre- even spaghetti western. He’s like Delon in that he was a French actor really at the height of his fame and talents in the 60s who never make an archiveable film with Truffaut or Godard—at least he made one fantastic film with Rohmer.

directors worked with:   Haneke (2) and then Rohmer, Bertolucci, Kieslowski once a piece

Top 5 Performances:

  1. The Conformist
  2. My Night at Maude’s
  3. Amour
  4. Red
  5. Z

Archiveable films

1962- Il Sorpasso
1966- A Man and a Woman
1968- The Great Silence
1969- My Night At Maud’s
1969- Z
1970- The Conformist
1983- Under Fire
1994- Red
2012- Amour
2017- Happy End