Archive for March 9th, 2012

by Allan Fish

(France 1951 126m) DVD1/2

Aka. On Venom and Eternity

The manifesto of discrepant cinema

p  Marc’o, Leon Vickman  d/w  Isidore Isou  ph  Nat Saufer  ed  Suzanne Cabon  m  Daniel Guarrigue

Isidore Isou, Marcel Achard, Jean-Louis Barrault, Danièle Delorme, Daniel Gelin, Jean Cocteau,

Letterist founder Isidore Isou’s cinematic calling card is one of those films that, for those previously unaware of its existence, demands a rewriting of conventional film history.  He himself intended it to be “a promise of things to come”, and one wonders whether Isou, rather like Daniel the protagonist alter ego in the film, became bored by the cinema after just one film.  If so, he got as much into this first and only effort for it to seem truly revolutionary even sixty years on.  It was going to be twice the length, 4½ hours, an experience that may well have come close to cinematic anaesthetic, for even in this full version it rather outstays its welcome.  Yet along the way it’s full of a real primal power, a “fuck off” daring to conventional cinema.  If you cannot desecrate, how can you build? (more…)

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