Archive for September 19th, 2012

Copyright © 2012 by James Clark

Whereas Bresson’s fourteen-year-old Mouchette lurches through well-meaning indiscretions virtually unnoticed and dies much as a sparrow would, the same artist’s nineteen-year-old Joan (the Joan) lurches through well-meaning indiscretions noticed by throngs and dies one of the most celebrated deaths ever recorded. Well aware of the anonymity directly devouring nearly everyone, in The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962) he takes advantage of the presence of the same kind of conflict (apropos of mysterious scintillation) befalling so many of his other protagonists—only now uniquely drawing attention to its monumental (cosmic), world-historical consequentiality. This is a Joan pointedly indifferent toward panoramic spectacle and personal glamor. It is a film about an incendiary affair of the heart entangling each and every one of us, and as such it couldn’t be farther from an antiquated “historical drama.” (There is, therefore, an arresting affinity to this work in Arthur Miller’s stage play, The Crucible, concerning a protagonist (headed, as it happens, to being forgotten) chewed up by the Salem Witch Trials.) (more…)

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celine 1

by Allan Fish

(France 1974 192m) DVD2

Aka. Céline and Julie go Boating

One, two, three, eagle-eye and blockhead

p Barbet Schroeder d Jacques Rivette w Eduardo de Gregorio, Jacques Rivette, Juliet Berto, Dominique Labourier, Bulle Ogier, Marie-France Pisier stories Henry James ph Jacques Renard, Michel Senet ed Nicole Lubtchanksy, Chris Tulio-Altan m Jean-Marie Senia art/cos none

Juliet Berto (Céline), Dominique Labourier (Julie), Bulle Ogier (Camille), Marie-France Pisier (Sophie), Barbet Schroeder (Olivier), Philippe Clevenot (Guliou), Nathalie Asnar (Madlyn), Marie-Thérése Saussure (Poupie), Anne Zamire,

If there is one director of the nouvelle vague who has drawn as much exasperation as admiration, it has to be Jacques Rivette. Many of his films stretch beyond the absolute limit of human endurance. Not just in their length, but in the way he tries to justify that length by the movie itself; even his greatest film La Belle Noiseuse, clocks in at four hours and this – his most famous – at over three. Yet Céline is referred to by many as one of the masterpieces of the cinema, with David Thomson exclaiming it as simply “the most innovative film since Citizen Kane.” So what is it that makes Céline so magical to so many? (more…)

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