All posts tagged: French Cinema

Bad Blood

Voices are heard in Film Socialisme but often the speaker is not seen; conversations are decontextualized to the point of absurdity. The line between epigrammatic and nonsensical is impossible to draw.

Interview with Olivier Assayas

“To me he’s a figure at Algiers airport: a man who was thin then, wearing a Che Guevara beret.” Thus the controversial lawyer Jacques Vergès reminisces in Barbet Schroeder’s fine documentary, Terror’s Advocate (2007), speaking of Ilich Ramírez Sánchez — known as Carlos—the Venezuelan terrorist and revolutionary presently imprisoned in Poissy, France, for the 1975 rue Toullier murder of two French intelligence agents in Paris.

The Kraken Wakes

At one point in Wild Grass, the protagonist Georges is typing at his desk late at night. As Mark Snow’s wistful music plays, the camera commences a slow tour of the room, encompassing a picture, a lamp, bookshelves, and an African mask on the shadowy wall. When it reaches the heavily draped window, though, we realize that time has been compressed; suddenly it is morning outside

Catcalling

It’s four decades now since those pretzel-logic days of possibility, transformation, rage, confusion, and defeat—and increasingly as they’re returned to us, it’s in the form that documentary currently prefers to dab at history: the immense flow of available news footage intercut with middle-aged talking heads placing themselves in careful safe accord with what all speaking take to be the story.

The Earrings of Madame de . . .

The Earrings of Madame de … was Max Ophuls’s penultimate film, preceding the difficult experience of Lola Montes (1955) and his untimely death at the age of fifty-five in 1957. Into it, as though he somehow sensed that his career was about to end, he collected so many of the themes that had preoccupied him over the previous two decades…

La Ronde

Stripped of its halos, alibis, and consequences, sex would constitute a cruel, if pleasurable, formalism whose sole principle is sex for sex’s sake. And with the closing of the circle, the final surprising, yet not unexpected, match of high and low, such urgent but empty and gratuitous sex seems a universal fate.