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Archive for June 1st, 2010

        Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Breathless’ running at Film Forum in new print

by Sam Juliano

     The Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, meaning that summer is a stone’s throw away, and many of us in the northern hemisphere are planning our well-earned vacations, and some special outdoor events that the glorious weather will allow.  (our friend Donophon, for example, will no doubt be casting out his rods!) A great big congratulations to Dan Getahun on his wedding over the weekend, and hope he and his lovely bride have some wonderful contingency plans!

     Allan’s 2000’s countdown reached the half way point, with Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist checking in at #50.  Voters who have not get cast a  ballot on the proper thread over the header are encouraged to do so, though the polling -obviously-will run nearly two months more.  Jamie Uhler and the Olson brothers are moving forward on what will surely be a fantastic venture with the horror polling that will commence on or around August 1.  Two posts on the television series Lost were penned by Phillip Johnston and Bob Clark, while both James Clark and Marc Bauer wrote distinguished essays on Alice in Wonderland and Mimacs.  Joel Bocko’s superlative review of Von Donnarsmarck’s The Lives of Others attracted a tremendous response from commenters.  Tony d’Ambra’s new post on one of the most unheralded of all works of French poetic realism is a grand slam, and it’s there at Films Noir.net, and Dee Dee’s interview with writer Paul Brazill is the best one of her blogging career! And over at Goodfellas Dave Hicks launched his ‘Great Directors’ series today, and it’s largely a culmination of weeks of marathon film viewing in preparation.  And Donophon’s superb series on the works of Jean-Pierre Melville continues at The Long Voyage Home.

     Lucille and I managed a hectic week on the theatre and film front, and as always I really must question my sanity to this end, though on a number of these ventures we did spend quality time with the kids.

     On Broadway (and off-Broadway) we witnessed SOUTH PACIFIC a second time within three weeks at Lincoln Center on Thursday night, as this was an early Father’s Day gift for my Dad and his lady friend.  It was just as glorious as it was the first time, and it sits on top in my affections among 2010 cultural events.

     2009’s winner of the Tony Award for Best Play was GOD OF CARNAGE, a blistering satiric comedy winding down it’s impressive run at the Jacobs Theatre.  The play is essentially about two pairs of parents, one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the evening devolving into chaos, and some underlying prejudices spilling out in an all-out, sometimes physical assault.  Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s is a classic in the breakdown of the veneer of civility, and Lucille and I had a whale of a time on Wednesday night while finally seeing this critically-praised work.

     On Saturday night, Lucille, Bob and I took in a “musical” at ‘Theatre Horizons’ on 42nd Street, about a group of miners who survive a collapse called THE BAND PART BOYS.  The music was actually ‘bluegrass’.  Although Bob and Lucille disagreed, I found this a torturous show to sit through, as the music was trite and forgettable, and the staging was undisciplined.  The young actors went about their business with a marked enthusiasm, and the lighting was interesting, but when it’s the kind of show that has you thinking throughout of what you’ll be ordering for dinner.  ‘Entertainment’ this surely wasn’t.

    On the movie front the action was frenzied:

    Breathless (A Bout de Souffe; Godard)   Friday night; 10:00; Film Forum

    Mademoiselle Chambon *****  (Sunday afternoon; Cinema Village)

    Micmacs  *** 1/2   (Sunday afternoon; Angelika Film Center)

    The Prince of Persia  ** 1/2  (Friday afternoon; Edgewater multiplex)

    Father of My Children ****  (Friday night; 7:30 P.M.; IFC Film Center)

    Holy Rollers   ** 1/2    (Sunday night; Montclair Claridge) (more…)

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by Allan Fish

Version (France 2006 201m) DVD1 (only shorter 168m version on DVD2)

Aka. Lady Chatterley et l’homme des bois

Waiting for the sound of a chopped log

p  Gilles Sandoz  d  Pascale Ferran  w  Roger Bohbot, Pascale Ferran  novel  D.H.Lawrence  ph  Julien Hirsch  ed  Yann Dedet  m  Béatrice Thiriet  art  François Renaud-Labarthe  cos  Marie Claude Altot

Marina Hands (Constance Chatterley), Jean-Louis Coulloc’h (Parkin), Hippolyte Girardot (Clifford Chatterley), Hélène Fillières (Hilda), Hélène Alexandridis (Mrs Bolton),

Probably the 20th century’s principal literary cause célèbre, D.H.Lawrence’s infamous piece of erotica had been filmed several times before this 2006 reworking.  There had been a French version, minus all the sex, and dull as a dishcloth, in the mid fifties with Danielle Darrieux (yes, I know, what casting), and then the obligatory smut-fest for the anorak brigade, from the director and star of Emmanuelle, in which the heroine has all the emotion of a cast-off piece of MDF.  Then that well known peddler of all things Lawrence Ken Russell did his own tasteful, but rather dull, version for television in 1992.  A pretty sorry bunch they were, so it was due a makeover.  Appropriate really for this novel, too, in that it changed plot details and even character names in several different editions – this version is taken from the second draft, made prior to the gamekeeper being renamed Mellors, the name by which he is generally known in literary circles. 

            The story of the impotent landowner, embittered by his injury in the trenches of World War I, who virtually pushes his wife into an affair, but who doesn’t realise it’s not with some society beau but with his common gamekeeper, is known by most.  Like the Russell, Ferran’s film was financed and made for television, but aired in French cinemas as well as living rooms, and was shown originally in two parts, before being cut down by half an hour and merged into one for overseas consumption.  That version, though pretty, wouldn’t have made this selection by some way.  Too many details were missed out, and we’re not necessarily talking about sex.  (more…)

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