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Archive for September 6th, 2009

    For the second time this summer, the popular Monday Morning Diary post will be held off one day, and is now scheduled to appear on Tuesday, September 8, hence it will be titled for this week as the Tuesday Morning Diary.  This brief delay will allow all respondants to include their Labor Day activities in the summary round-up.

     As expected the site (and virtually all blog sites) are relatively dormant this weekend, as most bloggers are either away or are understanding occupied with holiday activities.  Hits and comments are at a premium.  I think everyone needs a break.

     I received an e mail from Allan’s aunt, Anne Cafferkey this morning, which informed me that Allan’s phone service and internet service will not be restored until Wednesday.  His upcoming  reviews are already set in word-press, so there will not be any kind of postponement with the countdown.

     As WitD is approaching its one-year anniversary next week, I will be penning a comprehesive piece on the site’s evolution and of the many reasons for it’s recent surge, as well as glowing acknowledgements of all those friends and bloggers who are largely responsible.  The planned Brit Noir report will also be upcoming.       -S.J.

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L’Argent (no 24)

largent-robert-bresson-final-film-hand1

by Allan Fish

(France 1983 84m) DVD1/2

Aka. Money

Pour cinq-cent francs

p  Jean-Marc Henchoz  d/w  Robert Bresson  story  “The False Note” by Leo Tolstoy  ph  Pasqualino de Santis, Emmanuel Machuel  ed  Jean-François Noudon  m  Johann S.Bach  art  Pierre Guffroy 

Christian Patey (Yvon Targe), Sylvie van den Elsen (grey-haired woman), Michel Briguet (her father), Caroline Lang (Elise), Vincent Risterucci (Lucien), Beatrice Tabourin (shop owner’s wife), Didier Baussy (shop owner), Marc Ernest Fourneau (Norbert),

It would turn out to be Robert Bresson’s final film, made when he was 81 years old, but still with over 15 years life left ahead of him.  It’s a tantalising thought, of a man who lived so long, till he was 98, making only 12 films.  Each of them has been claimed by various critical groups as a masterpiece, but how many more could he have made?  It’s a nagging doubt one has about so many master directors who one might have perceived to have wasted time – Kubrick, Malick, even Buñuel who did nothing for the best part of two decades when he should have been in his prime.  Of course quality counts more than quantity, and Bresson, like Dreyer, Eisenstein, Tarkovsky, Cocteau, Von Stroheim and Vigo, should be remembered for what he did rather than for what he didn’t.  His is arguably the most epiphanal career in film.

            L’Argent recalls Marcel l’Herbier’s identically titled but thematically antipodean silent from 1928.  Thematically it recalls his own Pickpocket and also, paradoxically, the causality-themed work of Max Ophuls.  It starts with a schoolboy in debt.  For what, we’re not sure, but when his parsimonious father refuses to give him the money he needs, he accepts the help of a classmate who tells him to pass off a forged 500FF note at a store.  They go to a photo shop and pass it off to the storekeeper’s wife, and their troubles are seemingly over.  From there, rather than report the matter, as it’s happened several times, the store owner tries to pass off all the dodgy notes himself to a delivery driver, who is then caught trying to pay with one of the said notes in a restaurant.  The restaurant manager has him arrested and the driver, Yvon, tells them where he got the notes from.  The shop owner persuades their assistant to lie for them under oath in court, which helps them get away with it but sees Yvon’s name cast in the mud.  Having lost his job, he reluctantly accepts a job as a driver on a robbery, only for it to go pear-shaped and him get sent down for three years.  In this time, he makes plans to escape, but finds a criminal rage building up in him that flowers monstrously in the final act. (more…)

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