Actresses talk a poetic language (seems like incantations) performed as a casual one,
I feel like it’s improvised, but the demand to perform remains unclear.
As if playfulness took over life, and the time they were asked to perform was just a vague souvenir.
That way magic finds its place within the most blunt, modest, everyday-life visuals (at least for the first part of the movie).
I can understand an unsuspected language.
If I can understand that « magic improvised language » then I should be able to speak it. There are many dialects of this « magic improvised language » yet to discover, I must be able to understand and speak too.
The ‘status’ of the actresses remains unclear. At first I thought that one was a paranoid loony chased by the other that I suspected to be a witch. Then some kind of chassé-croisé happens and I don’t know anymore which one master magic. The one that was chasing (because she was holding an esoteric book) or the other one that later in the movie does classic prestidigitation.
At some point they are projecting their fantasy and trying to build a narrative (that narrative is performed by others actors in the movie) : Ultimately it seems that the two actresses direct the movie. This extend the film to its own making. These are the conditions of working that we should pursue. We should aim at experimenting this way, accepting a playful improvisation with our collaborators, even if it is gambling on the final aspect of the work. Kathy Acker stated « you can do whatever you want with my work ». It seems that Rivette way of working could be « you can do whatever you want with my work yet to be made ». Well I don't know if it is, but I want to work this way.
Le Roi de l'évasion (2009)
The movie takes place in a French countryside that I'm familiar with; I grew up in an identical environment. I loved the awkwardness of the encounters, the silent conversations are delightful, the capacity of the main character's body (running and cycling so fast), how what I have always experienced as super straight moments like apéro are hijacked into kinky flirting, how the traditional mores are explored without encouraging province bashing but rather used as a tool to set the movie in a weird time/space.
+ it is extremely funny
Madame Sin (1972)
Bette Davis is wonderful, as usual.
Some might think : early Black mirror
But it would be extremely insulting
L'arrière pays (1997)
Jacques Nolot directed 3 movies, they are all great and deserve to be watched.
They are all autobiographical & filterless.
Jacques Nolot comes back to his hometown 10 years after and has to deal with his dying mother.
I'm not sure you would pick this one as your favorite. I did because I had a similar experience this summer and I cried.
But I strongly encourage you to watch 'La chatte à deux têtes' and 'Avant que j'oublie'.
ΓΛΥΚΙΑ ΣΥΜΜΟΡΙΑ (1983)
Somebody uploaded the complete filmography of Nikos Nikolaidis on youtube, with sub. Sweet Bunch and Singapore Sling are my favorites. Singapore Sling is a kinky neo-noir? black comedy? thriller? shot in black and white. Sweet bunch is about a 'cute' gang of outsiders under surveillance.
Other notable N.N. movies : See you in hell my darling, The Zero Years, The wretches are still singing... well actually, watch them all.
La pelle (1981)
I wasn't convinced by Il portiere di Notte. But Liliana Cavani's La Pelle is incredible, the movie takes place in a post-wwII-completely-fucked-up Napoli. So many atrocious things are happening, but you surprise yourself laughing at them. Mastroianni's food related jokes are disturbing and excellent. At some point there's a party scene in which you can hear this music (it gives a good hint of the movie's tone) :
How to get ahead in advertising (1989)
A young advertising executive goes through a twisted burnout, an evil talking pimple grows on his shoulder. This film is a nice alternative to American Psycho. I remember that movie as an OK one, I didn't like it as much as the other movies present here. But still entertaining.
Survive Style 5+ (2004)
I have no idea how to explain what is happening. This is a zany movie that includes several different stories. I really loved it.
Romances with ghosts/spirits that I like :
1 - Blithe Spirit (1945)
2 - I Married a Witch (1942)
3 - The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
(good, but boring compared to the afformentioned two)
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
If you follow this blog you will understand that I have a crush on "coming back to your hometown" kind of stories. Grosse Pointe Blank is one of them. It is a romantic comedy starring John Cusack (I love John Cusack). JC plays a professional hitman, a victim of an existential crisis, he decides to resign and come back to his hometown to reconnect with his first love whom he stood-up at the prom night 10 years ago.
ΟΙ ΤΕΜΠΕΛΗΔΕΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΥΦΟΡΗΣ ΚΟΙΛΑΔΑΣ (1978)
(The idlers of the fertile valley)
One of my favorite movie title.
The movie is about 3 brothers who retire with their father and a maid in a villa they inherited from an uncle.
They are following the strict conditions and philosophy of their father : do nothing. All efforts are to be banned.
The result is a movie in which protagonists sleep a lot. (Apitchapong Weerasethakul would love it).
It's really interesting to see how that compulsory laziness brings a weird relaxed but tense atmosphere. In which every banal gesture seems to come with great pain and effort.
Killer of Sheep (1977)
So good I'm not allowed to talk about it
La Belle Captive (1983)
What can I say ?
If you like Lynch and Magritte then you'll love it.
Sullivan's Travels (1941)
I suggest that movie to the next boring and irritating artist who will have something to tell us about working class.
A lovely generational movie.
The Patsy (1928)
A very nice silent movie. with great captions.
A movie adapted from the Jean Genet book.
Jeanne Moreau as an evil teacher: it can only be good.
Céline et Julie vont en bateau (1974)
Forbidden Zone (1980)
I haven't seen the colorized version of it. But I had a good time watching this trippy/zany/absurd/irreverent movie, I've always like these kind of sets, they remind me of J.C. Averty TV show 'les raisins verts'.
Kroko is about a German young ruthless gang boss girl.
As a punishment for the crime she has committed (I can't remember what it was), she has to work in a social service center.
The Long Goodbye (1973)
There’s a long goodbye / And it happens everyday / When some passerby / Invites your eye / To come her way.
Even as she smiles / A quick hello / You’ve let her go / You’ve let the moment fly / Too late you’d turn your head
You’d know you’ve said / The long goodbye.
*Melancholic Jazz music*
Elliott Gould as a lonely private investigator living with his cat.
Très cool, très classe.
The Sting (1973) / Focus (2015)
Two good 'con artist' movies.
If you like one of them
then you'll like the other one.
Very interesting title 'Focus'.
The French title translate to 'Diversion'
Mizu no naka no hachigatsu (1995)
(August in The Water)
A good 'before sleeping' movie (meaning: IT IS VERY BORING /!\ ). With beautiful diving shots, in slow motion.
What else ?
I don't remember.
J'irai comme un cheval fou (1973)
A good alternative to Jodorowski.
Very beautiful pooping scene (I didn't put the image, because it's nice to see it in the film)
(nothing too stomach-turning)
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Calmez-vous les intellos !!
Beware of a Holy Whore (1971)
I haven't seen his most famous movies. I've seen some twisted/sordid movies he made like Martha.
I could have picked Querelle which I loved (perhaps even more than BotHW).
But I chose this one because obnoxiousness can be the funniest thing in the world sometimes.
Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)
It's probably a bit cliché to be an artist and like Morrissey movies.
I loved Trash, and Jane Forth's lines 'by the way, are you a junky?'
In FFF, the Baron von Frankenstein is so sick, so twisted. And his assistant wears the most funny bad acting cartoony face expressions. Some scenes are really gruesome (and hilarious). Morrissey's irreverence we love is still present and always at the right moment... delightful.
P'tit Quinquin (2014)
The raw countryside of France played by the raw countryside of France.
Extremely weird and funny.
A mini show in 4 episodes, A murder mystery that opens with the discovery of human body parts stuffed inside a cow on the outskirts of a small channel town in northern France.
Až přijde kocour (1963)
A brilliant movie about a cat that has a super power. If you are being looked at by the cat then you get colored : purple for liars, red for lovers, yellow for unfaithful.
Hail the New Puritan (1987)
Exuberant and witty docufantasy.
Leigh Bowery is great.
Comment je me suis disputé... (ma vie sexuelle) (1996)
Another great tittle.
A movie that reinforces the Frenchman cliché as an unfaithful existentialist intellectual
Would I still like it now ? Not sure, but I have a good memory of it.
A very good movie by Panos H. Koutras. In my opinion better than Strella (2009).
2 brothers are looking for their Greek father, after their Albanian mother died.
Bonus : you can also watch Koutras' first movie, way different from this one and Strella : The attack of the giant Moussaka (1999). A wonderful campy movie for Serie Z amateurs.
It's one of my very favorite movies. Whenever I enter an art gallery, I'm thinking "Live with that ?" And I project the ways I would live with the objects surrounding me, the relationship we could develop, how I would use them...
Symbol is a movie about a guy trapped in a white cube. There are angels' penises all over the wall, every time he touches a penis an object appears. The guy tries to escape the white cube thanks to those objects.
YOU MUST WATCH IT !
Theory of Achievement (1991)
Good short about 90s young, middle class, white, college educated, unskilled, broke, drunk.
Jacques Rozier :
Adieu Philippine (1962)
Du côté d'Orouët (1973)
Maine Océan (1986)
These are the 3 films by Jacques Rozier I've seen.
They are all different. I wouldn't know which one is my favorite.
The trial scene of Maine Ocean is interesting : the lawyer is using all her time to expose the social condition of the defendant, trying to explain how the slang-y brutal way of expressing of the defendant might lead to an unfair deliberation.
The scene offers an interesting discrepancy between the level of language and behavior of the defendant and lawyer. And how both of them are ineffective in defending. One being too brutal and crude, and the other too specific, structure-blaming, maybe condescending too.
Au hasard Balthazar (1966)
My favorite Bresson movie.
Super elegant, super graceful.
Everything is in that movie. (even Pierre Klossowski!)
Suddenly Last Summer (1959)
Montgomery Clift, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor
How to talk about it
when you are not allowed to talk about it
A Touch of Sin (2013)
China dans tous ses états
I racconti di Canterbury (1972)
Les fesses à l'air avec Pasolini !
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1982)
"Every girl should be given an electric guitar on her 16th birthday"
"They have such big plans for this world, and they don't include us! So what does that make you? Just another girl lining up to die."
"What you were was a concept and you've blown the concept."
I watched it in Italian without sub.
Cool Carmelo Bene
If you were telling me about a movie which involves S&M to talk about confrontations and trust in a relationship. I would think that it must be rather hard to make such a movie without being lame or cheesy or cliché or whatsoever. But Maîtresse manages to avoid that (in my opinion).
starring young Depardieu, Bulle Ogier, beautiful faux-marbre and glossy latex suits.
What a Way to Go! (1964)
4 weddings, 4 rich husbands and the best outfits
Pump up the Volume (1990)
90s pirate radio !
Cinema du Look !
Mobylette chase in the Paris Metro
The art of the tartine
MORE CINEMA DU LOOK !
Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991)
MORE CINEMA DU LOOK !
Far from Heaven (2002)
Great Todd Haynes movie, Julianne Moore is amazing. A good picture about marriage, race and sexuality in the 50s US.
I also recommend this very good short by Todd Haynes too
Rester Vertical (2016)
Another extraordinary Alain Guiraudie. The queerest of French countryside. Some scenes are REALLY GRAPHIC. Still twisted and hilarious.
The best French movie I've seen lately.
Roselyne et les Lions (1989)
MORE CINEMA DU LOOK !
Another very good Beineix, it's 3hours long. but it's ok.
I didn't feel the length like I did for the extended version of 37°2 le matin.
The List of the worst movies I've seen
It's very rare that I regret watching a movie BUT it happens. Here are the movie I absolutely encourage you not to watch :
Un été brûlant (2010)
Louise Michel (2009)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) (I know it is considered a "masterpiece")
Synecdoche, New York (2008) (urgggg)
A Serious Man (2009)
Buongiorno, notte (2003)
Repo Chick (2009)
La Belle Noiseuse (1991)
The Story of Adele H. (1975)
Irma Vep (1996)
Je t'aime, je t'aime (1968)
Méfiez-vous du chien qui pense!