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    Bothering Bertrand Blier

    On the cabinet sits an Oscar, the Best Foreign Language Film award won by Get Out Your Handkerchiefs in 1979. Not far away, on the table, is the pipe that his father, French film legend Bernard Blier, used to smoke.

    The flat belongs to Bertrand Blier. The director of the classic Going Places (Les Valseuses in the original French), known for his irreverence as much as for his films, is currently resting in his Paris apartment. While waiting to start shooting his next picture, that is, for at 75, this friend of illustrious silver-screen names including Jean-Pierre Marielle, Patrick Dewaere and Gérard Depardieu is not done with cinema. Or impudence, for that matter.

    In a conversation spanning the Algerian War, the student revolt of May 1968, Charlie Hebdo, and right-wing polemicist Eric Zemmour, who considers Les Valseuses to be one of the first signs of a civilisation in decline, French society past and present offered the film-maker no shortage of subjects with which to grapple with his customary black humour.

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