Despite a lack of formal training, French director Jean Eustache had a masterful ability to relate a story with disarming authenticity. He crafted ostensibly autobiographical, unique films up until his abrupt death, when he committed suicide in 1981 at the age of 42. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's series Jean Eustache: Film as Life, Life as Film, a ten-day celebration of the director - he actually preferred the title "archivist" - begins with La Peine perdue de Jean Eustache/The Wasted Breath of Jean Eustache, a highly praised hour-long documentary featuring interviews with close friends and colleagues. Today's presentation concludes with 1966's Santa Claus Has Blue Eyes, Eustache's piece about a financially challenged young dandy who sees a job dressing as Santa as "an easy way to get girls."
Films being shown later in the series are La Maman et la putain/The Mother and the Whore (7 p.m. Saturday), Jean Renoir, le Patron/Jean Renoir, the Boss and Le Cochon/The Pig (7 p.m. Sunday). Jean Eustache: Film as Life, Life as Film continues through October 26. Today's screening is at 7:30 p.m. 1001 Bissonnet. For information and a complete series schedule, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org. $6 to $7.
Fri., Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m., 2008