Nécessité de Moullet – Homage to Luc Moullet, filmmaker and montagnard

The French filmmaker returns to Trento 60 years after his first visit and a historic article on the festival, to present a selection of his “alpine” films.

Mountain – and therefore, indeed, and in theory, mountain cinema – is an integral and necessary part of life – and therefore of cinema. Mountain cinema is not a specialty for initiates, and one cannot do without it, as with animation cinema. It is a fact and an aesthetic necessity. That this has been forgotten here for thirteen years now authorizes me, obliges me to take care of it.
“Nécessité de Trento”, Luc Moullet (Cahiers du cinéma, n. 153, March 1964)

In the 70-year history of the Trento festival, there is a moment that strangely enough has not been recorded in the publications and chronicles: the striking publication in Cahiers du cinéma, the most influential film magazine of all time, in March 1964, or rather in the famous “yellow” period of the magazine, when great directors such as Truffaut, Rivette, Godard, Chabrol and Rohmer were writing and training in the editorial staff, of the article “Nécessité de Trento“, a brilliant and thorough reflection on cinema and the mountains inspired by the program of the 12th edition of the festival, by a young critic, a novice filmmaker and a mountain and mountaineering enthusiast: Luc Moullet.

Born in 1937, Moullet joined the Cahiers du cinéma at the age of 18, and directed his first works in 1960, from the beginning switching with ease between short and feature films. Since then he made a total of 38 films of all formats and genres, often playing with the canons of traditional narrative, all linked by a taste for the comic and the absurd, and by the recurring presence of mountains.

Moullet returned to the Trento festival the following year as well, writing for the Cahiers of November 1964 a taxonomic account of the 13th edition (which ended with an appreciation for the quality of Trentino milk), and among the Dolomites he was supposed to return for the projects of two films that unfortunately were never made: Vortex to be shot on the Bocchette Alte in the Brenta Dolomites, and Gusela inspired by the Gusela del Vescovà, symbol of the Belluno Pre-Alps and Dolomites.

This homage therefore pays due tribute and thanks, almost 60 years later, not only to one of the most “mountaineer” (or mountainophile?) filmmakers in the history of cinema, but also to the person to whom the festival owes what is probably the most relevant and intelligent account of the event ever read in the international press.

Program curated by Sergio Fant, Head of Program, Trento Film Festival.

Supported by
  • Institut français Italia