Archive for June 27th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(France 1973 219m) not on DVD

Aka. The Mother and the Whore

Jump, Narcissus!

p  Pierre Cottrell  d/w  Jean Eustache  ph  Pierre Lhomme, Jacques Renard, Michel Cenet  ed  Jean Eustache, Denise de Casabianca  m  W.A.Mozart, Jacques Offenbach 

Jean-Pierre Léaud (Alexandre), Bernadette Lafont (Marie), Françoise Lebrun (Veronika Osterwald), Isabelle Weingarten (Gilberte), Jacques Renard (Alexandre’s friend),

As it is with any art form, the ending of a given movement or style is hard to pin down.  One might say Nights of Cabiria represented the end of neo-realism, The Testament of Dr Mabuse the end of German Expressionism and Touch of Evil the end of old school film noir.  To these one must add Jean Eustache’s film for representing the requiem to the nouvelle vague.  And yet how accurate is it to say so?  The nouvelle vague was famous for its jump-cuts, speedy takes, fast pace and irreverence.  Eustache’s film doesn’t have any of that.  It might be fairer to call it a requiem to the late sixties.  It’s like an autopsy on the pseudo-intelligentsia, the generation of sexual liberation and the Cultural Revolution.  It depicts a Paris still trying to pick up the pieces of the infamous events of 1968 but rather with a protagonist who obstinately refuses to pick up the pieces, preferring instead to analyse them to the point where everything becomes meaningless. (more…)

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