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OPENS JAN. 23

In such early movies as 1954’s Touchez Pas au Grisbi—revived at the American Film Institute Silver Theatre and Cultural Center last October—Jeanne Moreau took the sort of sex-kitten roles that went to Brigitte Bardot a few years later. But Moreau quickly proved herself too smart and grown-up to pass as kittenish, and has sustained a 50-year career while other Gallic ingénues disappeared. Chronologically, the AFI’s Moreau retrospective stretches from two controversial 1958 Louis Malle films, Les Amants and Elevator to the Scaffold, to a new French TV production of Jean Cocteau’s Les Parents Terribles. The other recent film is 2001’s Cet Amour-Là, in which Moreau impersonates writer-filmmaker Marguerite Duras, who scripted Tony Richardson’s 1966 Mademoiselle. Moreau also worked with such directors as Luis Buñuel (1964’s Diary of a Chambermaid) and Jacques Demy (1963’s Bay of Angels). She’s probably known best, however, for the films she made with François Truffaut, so it’s fitting that the series opens with a weeklong run of his 1962 ménage à trois hit Jules and Jim and closes with his Hitchcockian 1968 The Bride Wore Black (pictured). The series opens Friday, Jan. 23, as part of the AFI’s French Film Festival (see Showtimes for a complete schedule) at the Kennedy Center’s AFI theater, $8.50, (202) 785-4600, and at the AFI’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, $8.50, (301) 495-6700. (Mark Jenkins)