How Louis Malle would protest at the Republican Convention

Louis Malle's 1987 film about a pair of boarding school students during WWII, Au revoir, les enfants, was based in large part on his own childhood growing up in Occupied France.

In a scene when his mother comes from Paris to the school town to visit, Julien (the Louis Malle character), his friend Bonnett, and his older brother, FranÁois, are walking back from lunch. FranÁois is visible in the background, being very genial and helpful, explaining directions to a pair of German soldiers, which perplexes and upsets his mother.

Don't worry, Julien assures her, "He always gives them the wrong directions." With some maternal pride, she had to agree it was a nice idea.

Whether Malle would repeat this in New York during the Repblican Convention, we will never know. He died of lymphoma in 1995. His former wife, Candice Bergen, has made an appearance of sorts in GOP conventions before. It was Dan Quayle's memtion of "Murphy Brown" in May 1992 that opened the Family Values campaign that overtook the 1992 GOP gig in Houston.

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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