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September 27, 2009

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md'a

Looking forward to a second viewing of this insane film, since the first one (back at Cannes) left me completely befuddled like few other movies I've ever seen. (http://tinyurl.com/ycytwps) Maybe it was my inability to get past conventional character psychology that was the trouble, since I was so disturbed by Azéma's sudden interest in her clearly psychopathic stalker (and my uncertainty about whether or not the film intended me to find this charming or at least acceptable) that it kind of curdled the whole experience for me. But nobody else ever mentions this—the closest I've seen is Nick Schager (I think it was) noting that the film "leans masculine" in an unthinkingly sexist way. Never troubled you?

md'a

Oops, it was Jeff Reichert at Reverse Shot. Why didn't I just look it up before posting...?

Glenn Kenny

@ md'a: While I found myself in accord with much of Reichert's piece at Reverse Shot, I have to say I part rather violently with him at the charge of sexism. To view the events of the picture through the prism of assumed male privilege strikes me as both beside the point and, alas, kind of prosaic. As you might infer from my comparison of this film to an imaginary "One Saliva Bubble," I believe that, a) Georges Palet's madness is somewhat infectious, and acts as a contagion, and b) Marguerite Muir is susceptible to that contagion. Not because she's a woman but, just...because. There's some textual evidence to back this up, for instance, the scene with Josepha and M.M. at the bistro, with Georges outside the church in the square. He shoots her a look and there's a whip-pan combined, I think with a cut, that goes to a medium close-up of M.M. as a harsh light illuminates her face.

I also believe that critiquing the film as if its diegesis, such as it is, EVER puts forth ANY kind of programmatic/prescriptive pronouncement on relations between the sexes is, well, really barking up the wrong tree.

Ryland Walker Knight

I sure as shit hope to see this in a theatre, as big and blue and red and yellow and green and loud as possible. Sounds, um, right up my alley. Wish I could talk more with y'all about it. As is, I'll just throw my lot in with GK on the whole "caring" biz as, well, misguided. Almost always. Maybe especially when you _do_ care about characters. It's not about straight hypnosis, however strong the appeal, after all.

cmasonwells

I'd like to see a cage match between you and Richard Brody on this one.

Jonah

"As Foundas notes of Wild Grass in his Resnais interview, 'the film zig-zags zanily from one genre to the next.' It does so, on occasion, in a matter of mere shots"


This seems a feature of many of Resnais's recent (1990s–2000s) films, and I haven't completely adjusted to it. In a way it seems like a art-cinema echo of the rapid generic shifts that occur in popular melodrama -- notably in the Indian "masala" films. I admit this is a weird connection to make, but the films affect me in a similar way.

Also, this comment was probably made on your earlier Resnais post, but the man has wonderful hair, doesn't he?

Jonah

Come to think of it, hair is something else Resnais and Lynch have in common, viz.

http://blog.photoshelter.com/image/05DavidLynch_162102b-thumb-522x339.jpg

http://images.movieplayer.it/2003/10/24/alain-resnais-a-venezia-2006-per-presentare-private-fears-in-public-places-30130.jpg

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