Hiroshima mon amour. DNF. Just couldn’t hang with this one. I don’t know if it would have been easier to watch if I’d known more or less about its impact on the film world (see: French New Wave). Might try this one again another day. Criterion essay.
Pierrot le fou. Godard is so strange. This one is hyperactive and goofy like Une femme est une femme from earlier this month, but even more unconventional and maybe a bit more cynical. All kinds of references and meta-ish episodes. I think I like it. Ebert. Criterion essay.
Une femme est une femme (A Woman Is a Woman). What a wacky movie. Anna Karina wants to get pregnant. Boyfriend Jean-Claude Brialy won’t help while buddy Jean-Paul Belmondo is all too willing. Lots of rich primary colors. Hints at the musical genre every so often, and sometimes it seems operatic, with bits of dialogue like recitative punctuated with responses or embellishments from the orchestra. It’s very self-aware, playing with the form, making no attempt to stay absolutely true-to-life, sometimes literally winking at the camera. It’s all good fun. I caught several references to other films, and it’s likely there are more clever ones that I didn’t notice. This is probably my favorite of the Godard movies I’ve seen so far.
Is this a tragedy or a comedy? With women you never know.
La Boulangère de Monceau (The Bakery Girl of Monceau). Another Éric Rohmer film (previously), the first of his Six Moral Tales. This is a worthy short one, only 23 minutes. The focus is an everyday occurrence: a guy sees an attractive gal on the street, doesn’t say anything, regrets it, then toys with a bakery girl as a substitute as he tries to find the first. The man’s narration is an out-loud self-analysis, full of his internal churning, hedges and rationalizations about his choices. Here’s a Criterion essay.
La Collectionneuse. One of Éric Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales. Like Roman Holiday, this one centers on a question that doesn’t get answered until the last minute. It wasn’t as much pure fun, but I still respect a patient movie. From Phillip Lopate’s Criterion essay:
Here we see one of Rohmer’s most original tropes: the tepid attraction. It flies in the face of all cinematic convention, which dictates that the encounter of a good-looking man and a good-looking woman must lead to grand narrative passion. […] Rohmer views the problems of indolent, potential-laden, prolonged youth in this film from the perspective of the middle-aged artist, who knows that the clock is ticking.
À bout de souffle (Breathless). This was Jean-Luc Godard’s first feature-length film and one of the first of the French New Wave. At least it’s a trim 90 minutes. I didn’t find it all that interesting but some viewers think otherwise.
Bande à part (Band of Outsiders). I didn’t dig this one very much, but at least watch the dance scene. I stopped paying full attention about half-way into it. This Criterion essay covers it well.
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“You said you needed a guy who’s mischievous.” “Are you mischievous?” “Yeah.”
Jean-Pierre Leaud, Patrick Auffay, Richard Kanayan audition for roles in Francois Truffaut’s 400 Blows.
The 400 Blows. I really liked this movie. Truffaut found some great young actors. Good laughs and good music to boot.