Moderato Cantabile

Moderato Cantabile

A beautiful woman leads a banal life as the trophy wife of a town's leading industrialist. Her only pleasure is her interactions with her seven-year-old son. But one day, the incident of a murder in a quayside bistro grants her an opportunity to change everything. Rushing to the crime scene, she strikes up a conversation with an employee of her husband who also saw the crime. The two of them (magnificently played by Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jeanne Moreau, who was awarded at Cannes for her performance) speculate on the circumstances which led to the killing whilst toying subliminally with the idea of an affair. As desire intertwines with fear, obsession starts to emerge... A standout in Peter Brook’s filmography, this open reference to the spirit of Nouvelle Vague, co-scripted by Marguerite Duras and masterfully photographed by the prolific Armand Thirard, reeks with Camusian angst and ravishes with existential aesthetics.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Peter Brook
Script: Gérard Jarlot, Marguerite Duras, based on Moderato Cantabile by Marguerite Duras
Cinematography: Armand Thirard
Editing: Albert Jurgenson
Sound: William Robert Sivel
Actors: Jeanne Moreau, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Pascale de Boysson, Jean Deschamps, Didier Haudepin, Colette Régis
Production: Documento Film, Iéna Productions
Producers: Raoul Lévy
Production Design: Robert André
Make Up: Jean Paul Ulysse
Format: Blu-ray
Color: B/W
Production Country: France
Production Year: 1960
Duration: 94΄
Contact: Tamasa Distribution
Awards/Distinctions: Best Actress (ex aequo) – Cannes IFF 1960

Peter Brook

Peter Brook (1925–2022) was born in London and educated at Oxford. World famous for his pioneering work in the theater, in a spectacular career that encompassed more than half of the 20th century, Brook also directed significant films in Britain and France. He made his debut with an adaptation of John Gay’s satirical The Beggars Opera (1953), starring Laurence Olivier. Brook’s next British film, Lord of the Flies (1963), was an adaptation of William Golding’s classic literary parable on the descent of society. Two of Brook’s most famous theatrical productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1960s, The Marat/Sade by German modernist Peter Weiss and Shakespeare’s King Lear, eventually made it into films with very much the same casts as on stage. Brook also directed two drama documentaries: Tell me Lies (1968), about British anti-Vietnam War sentiment in the late 1960s, and Meetings with Remarkable Men (1979), the story of Gurdjieff, an Asian mystic. Since the completion of the latter film, Brook continued his filmmaking career in France. His other film credits include The Mahabharata (1989), The Tragedy of Hamlet (2002), and the documentary The Tightrope (2012), co-directed with his son, filmmaker Simon Brook.


1953 The Beggar’s Opera
1960 Moderato Cantabile
1963 Lord of the Flies
1967 Ride of the Valkyrie (short)
1967 Marat/Sade
1968 Tell Me Lies
1971 King Lear
1979 Meetings with Remarkable Men
1979 Mesure pour mesure (TV)
1982 La Cerisaie (TV)
1983 La Tragédie de Carmen
1989 The Mahabharata
2002 The Tragedy of Hamlet (TV)
2012 The Tightrope (co-direction)