Author Topic: other French New Wave-ers  (Read 9311 times)

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Pubrick

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Re: other French New Wave-ers
« Reply #45 on: September 16, 2007, 07:55:17 AM »
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I'd never heard of this before, but it sounds awesome, and probably isn't available on dvd: Santa Claus Has Blue Eyes (Le Père Noël a les Yeux Bleus).

Sounds cool (a little like Sartre), and also probably very hard to see otherwise: The War Is Over (La Guerre est Finie).

You could probably get this from a local library on vhs, but it is one of the first New Wave movies I ever saw, and is really interesting (plus the accompanying Black Panthers interview will probably be something to see): Happiness (Le Bonheur).

Out 1 is a monster... do it if you have the time and energy (and you will need TONS of both). But the two must-see Rivette's are, I must repeat, The Nun and Crazy Love.

I've always wanted to see The Mother And The Whore but have never found it. I assume you have. Maybe you could go to the showing with a Hi8 handicam, sell the tape to a chinese guy, who will in turn sell it to me?

there's so much to discover in this program., thanks for the suggestions! i'll check em all out cos, hey, it's free anyway..

i don't hav a problem with sitting for hours watching something, i think i'm good at it, so i'm looking forward to the Out 1 behemoth. mad love is pretty hefty too and so's the mother and the whore, so i'll work out my technique during them. i'll also be watching various films by Chris Marker, including La Jetée and if i'm not sick of long movies by then, Grin Without A Cat (at 240mins, it might seem like nothing after those others.)

didn't think about varda after i missed cleo from 5 to 7, or post-marienbad resnais, but since you mentioned em i think i'll give em a go.

oh and i'm sure the screening of whore will be so empty i could easily get away with taping it. .. but i won't.

One other thing that I just thought of (and never posted about at the time) -- one of my best viewing experiences of 2007 had been Rivette's "Gang Of Four". I think I'd consider it his #2 best of all time, and it seems to be a perfect summation of what he was reaching for in Paris Belongs To Us and Out 1; that blend of unexplainable mystery, repeated performance of subtle variations (watched, critiqued, and performed by the characters as "themselves" and as "characters"), and road-map of Paris. I guess that sounds like EVERY Rivette movie, but for some reason I group his work into two sections, with The Beautiful Troublemaker, Crazy Love, The Nun (artists and their passions, or some such thing) on one side, and Gang Of Four heading the second column of nearly everything else.

Anyway, it's available on disc (perhaps out of print but still up for purchase at a reasonable price), and looks quite good. Well worth seeking out.

haha yeah so basically all rivette. sweet.
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SoNowThen

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Re: other French New Wave-ers
« Reply #46 on: September 16, 2007, 01:16:51 PM »
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Good God, FREE?! This is an amazing event. I've been consistently shocked (in a good way) over the last few years at the kind of support Australia seems to give to art cinema. Is this the place to be for up-and-coming filmmakers, or is there just a really solid support system, and academic appreciation for, classic cinema?

Even if it's just the latter, that's fantastic.

Also, please post about whatever Marker you see. I think some dates have already passed, but it's a wonderful opportunity to take in as much of him as possible. I just watched Sans Soleil a few months ago and it was so damn solid and mind expanding. So, yeah, give us a little xixax live journal or something, if you have time, P.
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

Pubrick

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Re: other French New Wave-ers
« Reply #47 on: October 20, 2007, 11:06:32 AM »
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Is this the place to be for up-and-coming filmmakers, or is there just a really solid support system, and academic appreciation for, classic cinema? .

not the place for newbie filmmakers unfortunately. this seems to be a fluke somehow that the french embassy is giving unprecedented support to this retrospective.

wish i had time to review everything i've seen, here's a recap (so far):

resnais - guernica, night and fog, hiroshima mon amour, l'année dernière à Marienbad
amazing amazing amazing. on a technical note, i love his films because they have the most understandable french out of everything else i've seen at the festival. it's great as i can stop focusing on the subtitles and fall into the rhythm of the language itself and the images, which elevates marienbad to an unforgettable masterpiece. it's not as powerful thematically as hiroshima or even night and fog, but that lack of jarring context allows for a deeper immersion into the trance that his films excel at.

ah i can't be bothered to continue right now, here's a list anyway:

truffaut - shoot the piano player, the soft skin, antoine et collette, stolen kisses
the prettiest girls. period.

chabrol, demy, de broca, godard, molinaro, vadim, dhomme - the seven deadly sins
i have to mention how SHIT this collection was, as per the well established trend among short-film collections from established filmmakers. when one of the two redeeming specks of celluloid are by godard, you know something is wrong.. in his (sloth) lemmy caution is about to bang a broad but can't be bothered cos he is too lazy to get dressed afterwards. the other highlight was chabrol's (lust, i think), yeah it was lust, which featured a dead ringer for josh hartnett and some playful camera work.

godard - contempt
this probably has been mentioned before in some reputable journal of opinion, but while watching this i couldn't help thinking of bardot's character and her own real life homophobic politics. for those unaware, bardot is a total gay-hater. and in this movie she stops loving her husband because she sees him as less of a man. in the context of the film, her french writer husband is laid back and ponderous and placed in sharp contrast to the overt masculinity of jack palance as a loud american movie producer with a fast car and grand gestures. it's such a mature film in some ways, i particularly admired the way she never said the reason she hated him until very near the end of the film, and somehow it carried the weight of all the coldness and "contempt" i guess with which she had been acting up to that point.

ri-fucking-vette - mad love, Out 1 episodes 1 2 3 4, (The Nun screening has been postponed)
OK.. i'm gonna talk about l'amour fou here and OUT 1 in that other thread about long movies which i'll link at the bottom of this post.
l'amour fou is.... long. it's two scenes basically, actors rehearsing and a relationship in trouble. if i hadn't read up on wikipedia about the play they were performing i would have walked out of there a goddamn heartbeat. formally, the extreme length (252mins) was entirely justified by the scene where the main dude, who btw looks distractingly like Steve Martin, cuts his clothes up that he's wearing and in the process really hurts himself. that scene could not have been possible in a shorter film, it would've been too much. you share a level of exhaustion with the characters throughout and their actions seem less ridiculous because of it. all the violent stuff was handled well also, i don't think it was mysoginistic at all like this old lady was trying to tell me after the screening. it wasn't cassavetes or anything. i loved the relationship stuff but have absolutely no patience for watching actors rehearse. which brings me to OUT 1..

follow this link for my review of Out 1 directed by jacques rivette's massive balls that are so big that he can't summon the strength to yell CUT.

still to come:
chabrol -the good girls,
godard - a woman is a woman 
rohmer - la collectioneuse, my night chez maud, baker of monceau, suzanne's career, nadja a paris.
demy - lola, umbrellas of cherbourg
eustache - the mother and the whore
marker - le fond de l'air est rouge (grin without a cat), the astronauts, la jetee
resnais - muriel/the time of return, la guerre est finie.


oh and i saw Sans Soleil, and it was scrumptulescent. very much in that headspace right now. it helps that i like cats.

i also forgot to mention LA HAINE --- RECOMMENDED HIGHLY TO EVERYONE. i didn't see it coming, that's all i'm gonna say.. tout va bien, tout va bien..
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Pubrick

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Re: other French New Wave-ers
« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2007, 04:18:59 AM »
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i just bought this magnificent Chabrol film

One of the most interesting new wave films i've yet to see. I initially thought i'd throw this one at GT to get his opinion but after a search it seems he hasn't seen it (or at least he hadn't in 2003)

I could definitely see the comparisons to Hitchcock that always seem to pop up in literature or reviews about the film and i'm hoping Macguffin has at least seen it (it seems SHAFTR is the only one)

This has one of my favorite endings ever. The tortured girl staring directly into the camera and smiling for the last few seconds instantly reminded me of magnolia

spoily:
the various bits of mise-en-scene referencing the stalker's evil side (the bat at the zoo, the 666 on his license plate, and obviously the close-up of his horrendously sinister cackling grin) were great

i'd recommend this to anyone

boy what a stupid movie. maybe i just don't like the new wave, cos this was just plain stupid. i couldn't stomach the overracting, i couldn't stomach the episodic structure of the plot. the only redeeming feature of this was the attractiveness of the bonnes femmes. everything that happened in one scene rarely had any consequence or relevance to another. even the dramatic developments within each scene fizzled out or became void by the time a transition came along. everyone was completely awkward and unbelievable.

what i'm trying to say is: i UNrecommend this to anyone. i feel like i'm violating myself somehow by watching all these supposedly great movies. is this what cinema was meant to be? gimme a break. gimme ANYTHING. this felt like a step backwards for cinema in general.

in other news.. i also saw:

rohmer -  baker of monceau, suzanne's career, nadja a paris
these were much better, except from the audible groan from some douche bag in the back of the room at the end of every movie. i would say i really appreciate rohmer's style. there's something real about his endings (at least to the above titles) that doesn't annoy me at all. nadja a paris was my fave, what a brilliant little movie.

ok sorry GT, i'll explain a bit more: brilliant because it was not excessive, brilliant because it was tight, and true, and funny, and insightful. insightful because it revealed a character through images and dialogue that did not exist in the same time and place but came together succinctly in meaning. it was cool and fresh, it moved things forward. i could believe this belonged to a "new wave".

coming up: la collectioneuse, my night chez maud.
dreading: any movie anyone here has ever recommended.
endless 'nothing is what it seems'-isms

Gold Trumpet

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Re: other French New Wave-ers
« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2007, 04:58:32 AM »
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i just bought this magnificent Chabrol film

One of the most interesting new wave films i've yet to see. I initially thought i'd throw this one at GT to get his opinion but after a search it seems he hasn't seen it (or at least he hadn't in 2003)

I could definitely see the comparisons to Hitchcock that always seem to pop up in literature or reviews about the film and i'm hoping Macguffin has at least seen it (it seems SHAFTR is the only one)

This has one of my favorite endings ever. The tortured girl staring directly into the camera and smiling for the last few seconds instantly reminded me of magnolia

spoily:
the various bits of mise-en-scene referencing the stalker's evil side (the bat at the zoo, the 666 on his license plate, and obviously the close-up of his horrendously sinister cackling grin) were great

i'd recommend this to anyone

boy what a stupid movie. maybe i just don't like the new wave, cos this was just plain stupid. i couldn't stomach the overracting, i couldn't stomach the episodic structure of the plot. the only redeeming feature of this was the attractiveness of the bonnes femmes. everything that happened in one scene rarely had any consequence or relevance to another. even the dramatic developments within each scene fizzled out or became void by the time a transition came along. everyone was completely awkward and unbelievable.

what i'm trying to say is: i UNrecommend this to anyone. i feel like i'm violating myself somehow by watching all these supposedly great movies. is this what cinema was meant to be? gimme a break. gimme ANYTHING. this felt like a step backwards for cinema in general.

in other news.. i also saw:

rohmer -  baker of monceau, suzanne's career, nadja a paris
these were much better, except from the audible groan from some douche bag in the back of the room at the end of every movie. i would say i really appreciate rohmer's style. there's something real about his endings (at least to the above titles) that doesn't annoy me at all. nadja a paris was my fave, what a brilliant little movie.

ok sorry GT, i'll explain a bit more: brilliant because it was not excessive, brilliant because it was tight, and true, and funny, and insightful. insightful because it revealed a character through images and dialogue that did not exist in the same time and place but came together succinctly in meaning. it was cool and fresh, it moved things forward. i could believe this belonged to a "new wave".

coming up: la collectioneuse, my night chez maud.
dreading: any movie anyone here has ever recommended.

I'm glad you wrote about the Rohmers, Pubrick. I've had the Rohmer Moral Tale Series on standstill for a while and I've been looking for a good initiative to start watching them. With school and personal writing cluster fucking my life, I think I'm going to start watching the films anyways. I'll try to post my thoughts on this thread.

It's good to question the "classics" - even those of independent and foreign cinema. Parker Tyler once said to be "the 'useful' critic of Independent Cinema is to be one who obeys blindly, a propagandist rule of order". He was referring to classic works that were meant to be accepted first and studied second. Questioning their merit usually doesn't come into play.

Squints is correct to assume I hadn't seen his film in question. Claude Chabrol has been on my radar, but not in my interest (as of yet). I use to just watch film film film at a record pace, but I'm slowing down and wanting to both experience and know the new films and filmmakers I take on. One day for Claude Chabrol, but just not today.

And yes Pubrick, you did well to explain yourself. The explanation gave me my genuine excitement in the first paragraph. Now that Pubrick took me up on my general recommendation for explanations in all reviews, I don't feel like a singular voice on the board. Next week when I'm accosted for being too negative, writing too much and carrying an authortative tone, I'll feel like my old happy self, haha.




Pubrick

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Re: other French New Wave-ers
« Reply #50 on: October 29, 2007, 07:45:27 AM »
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I'm glad you wrote about the Rohmers, Pubrick. I've had the Rohmer Moral Tale Series on standstill for a while and I've been looking for a good initiative to start watching them. With school and personal writing cluster fucking my life, I think I'm going to start watching the films anyways. I'll try to post my thoughts on this thread.

And yes Pubrick, you did well to explain yourself. The explanation gave me my genuine excitement in the first paragraph. Now that Pubrick took me up on my general recommendation for explanations in all reviews, I don't feel like a singular voice on the board. Next week when I'm accosted for being too negative, writing too much and carrying an authortative tone, I'll feel like my old happy self, haha.

glad i could help you procrastinate!

i should note that nadja a paris is not part of the moral tales. and is only really exceptional in being the first pairing of Rohmer with Nestor Almendros. it's an extra in the moral tales box set, on the same disc as Suzanne's Career according to the criterion site. but i think what i said about it could be said about the baker girl. it's first and foremost a love letter to paris. collectioneuse and maud will be the clincher. tho i wish claire's knee and love in the afternoon were showing, they aren't, so i'll hav to find them on dvd/video somewhere to get some series-closure.
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SoNowThen

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Re: other French New Wave-ers
« Reply #51 on: October 30, 2007, 04:44:07 AM »
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Each and every movie in Rohmer's long career is a masterpiece. In context of his (massive) output, he has gotta be one of the most consistent filmmakers ever.
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

MacGuffin

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Re: other French New Wave-ers
« Reply #52 on: May 10, 2009, 11:51:59 PM »
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Did France's 'New Wave' shoot its cinema?

PARIS (AFP) – Fifty years after France's "New Wave" raised a storm at Cannes with Francois Truffaut's iconic arthouse "The 400 Blows", some critics believe the cult school of cinema has stymied French film.

The term "new wave" was first coined in 1957 in the nation's press as a general reference to the new generation. But it quickly came to refer to the upcoming auteur film-makers and critics known as the "Cahiers du Cinema" group, in reference to France's learned cult film magazine.

It was also in the mid-1950s that Truffaut, then a young writer for the Cahiers who also directed "Shoot The Piano-Player", attacked the great French film-makers of the time -- Claude Autant-Lara or Marc Allegret -- as a bunch of "bourgeois people making bourgeois films for the bourgeoisie".

Thanks to technical advances in the late 1950s -- lighter cameras and increasingly light-sensitive film -- he and cohorts Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Eric Rohmer and Jacques Rivette, brought a fresh breath to movies, shooting outside in natural settings with trimmed-down budgets and crews, and no stars.

For some movie-lovers, Godard's "Breathless", Resnais' "Hiroshima Mon Amour" or Chabrol's "Bitter Reunion" (aka Le Beau Serge) were no more than a passing trend, but for others they epitomized a cultural revolution turning cinema on its head.

Today some academics would argue that Truffaut's 1959 "400 Blows", which won a prize at the Cannes film festival that year, is not that very different to the traditional-style movies criticised at the time by the rebel directors.

And some critics claim that by raising the New Wave to the status of a national cult, the film establishment in the long term has undermined the emergence of fresh new talent on French cinema screens and on the festival circuit.

Critic Michel Ciment, who heads the rival magazine to the Cahiers du Cinema, "Positif", said in an interview that the New Wave film-makers "represent one of the key international movements in the history of film, much like Neorealism or the German Expressionists".

The historical importance of the school was illustrated by the fact that its main proponents continue to make films even today, he said. Resnais for one, who turns 87 this year, has a movie in competition for Cannes' prestigious Palme d'Or this month.

And Rivette, Godard, Chabrol, Agnes Varda and Chris Marker too are still making movies 50 years on.

"But the mythology has become dogma and has left a pernicious legacy," Ciment said.

"A whole generation of young film-makers have been trained to believe that plot no longer matters, that you can improvise a shoot, use non-professional actors.

"Yet Truffaut and Chabrol used star actors and professional screenwriters, as well as the best cameramen and set specialists they could find on the market."

Ciment said many of the well-respected critics at the Cahiers du Cinema over the decades had waged war against France's more mainstream film-makers such as Claude Sautet, Alain Cavalier, Louis Malle or Bertrand Tavernier.

"They've been almost systematically demolished," he said.

Film historian Marc Ferro agreed, saying "the New Wave has exercised a form of terrorism against other film-making styles."

"They were iconoclasts who carved out a place for themselves, but their descendants are still on the attack today."

Earlier this year, the influential monthly newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique carried a piece by writer Philippe Person asking "Do we have the right to criticise the New Wave?"

Person said the New Wave's taste for using non-professional actors and its love of navel-gazing autobiographical fare had alienated filmgoers, who came to believe that auteur cinema was necessarily amateurish and boring.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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