Region: France

2007 TIFF Day 7

Catherine Breillat’s Une vieille maitresse, Brian De Palma’s Redacted, and Jose Luis Guerin’s Dans la ville de Sylvie.

Sep 20, 2007
Category: Festivals, Film, Film Responses

2007 TIFF Day 6

Carlos Reygadas’s Silent Light, Bernard Emond’s Contre Toute Esperance, and Celine Sciamma’s Naissance des pieuvres.

Sep 18, 2007
Category: Festivals, Film, Film Responses

Godard’s “Paradise”

A throwaway observation: The many reviewers who have described act 3 of Notre Musique as “pastoral” and “lyrical” are projecting their own desires onto it.

Feb 4, 2007
Category: Film, Film Responses

Schuss! (2005)

Nicolas Rey’s Schuss! is an experimental essay film that is concerned, ultimately, with the spoils of capitalism. More specifically, it’s about the rise of the aluminum industry, the building of a French ski resort, and the economic interests that joined the two.

Dec 21, 2006
Category: Film, Film Responses

Beau Travail and Britten’s Billy Budd

But the emotional effect of the music — on me, at least — is anything but ironic. In true Melvillian fashion, this is an epic battle of Drama and Meaning, the most epic battle, in fact, if we recall our fuzzy memories of the Christian symbolism that permeates Billy Budd. Granted, Denis strips away most of those symbols, but the central conflict of the film remains mostly unchanged.

Dec 2, 2005
Category: Film, Film Responses

Le Temps qui reste (2005)

I hadn’t planned to write about Le Temps qui reste, but then, while typing up notes this morning, I tripped over this line from E.L. Doctorow’s The Book of Daniel: “My sister and I can never inflict total damage — that is the saving grace. The right to offend irreparably is a blood right.”

Sep 29, 2005
Category: Festivals, Film, Film Responses

Un Couple parfait (2005)

Look closely at the image above. It’s Un Couple parfait in miniature — a story told in body language.

Sep 27, 2005
Category: Festivals, Film, Film Responses

The Great Films, Part 1

In a deliberate effort to beef up my cinephile cred, lately I’ve been loading my GreenCine queue with selections from the list of 1,000 Greatest Films compiled by the folks at They Shoot Pictures.

Jul 4, 2005
Category: Film, Film Responses

Short Takes

Some recent viewings: Notre Musique, The Best Years of Our Lives, Sunrise, Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train.

May 25, 2005
Category: Film, Film Responses

Chocolat (1988)

Reviewers who have deemed “unnecessary” the framing device involving the adult France have completely misread Chocolat, I think. While there is much to recommend in the film—Agnes Godard’s cinematography, the many fine performances, and Denis’s typically seductive pacing, to name just a few—Denis’s handling of the film’s subjective perspective is what differentiates this film from other earnest and well-intentioned examinations of racism and/or colonialism.

Mar 16, 2005
Category: Film, Film Responses