Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, Cézanne - Dialogue avec Joachim Gasquet, 1989
Fine article by Dominique Païni here (hope link still works) https://www.sensesofcinema.com/2006/cin ... n_cezanne/ which is well worth a read, despite a few odd glitches - it's Jean Renoir's 1933 Madame Bovary not Vincente Minnelli's 1949 that the Straubs "sample" - with its sapient remarks on montage from Pasolini, amongst others. Scroll down here https://www.tumgir.com/kirpcatnotes to see how Huillet annotated the text (see below) to be read with her customary maniacal precision (there's a brief Vimeo interview with Straub on the subject too, but good luck understanding him: he might have helped if he'd taken the Gitane maïs out of his mouth for once). Whether or not Cézanne actually said all these things - Gasquet's book came out 15 years after the painter's death - is beside the point. Magnificent.
the film is slightly better than any bond movie and peck is wonderful as ever. (come on, you get a gorgeous movie star and a bresson-method model/actor rolled into one, what's not to love?)
to acquaint our boys with the late jean-paul belmondo, we watched the man from rio (philippe de broca, 1964). they loved it. much of the humor relies on old-fashioned gender clichés but a lot of it is still funny (at least in the german dub, such dir doch eine Freundin, die schwimmen kann). and the whole thing looks so great! paris, rio (first time i had the feeling i kind of understood that city from a movie), especially brasilia as a huge construction site, lots of off-spaces and atmosphere. the showdown is less exciting than the buildup but that's par for course in adventure movies (my 15yo is now totally offended by what he deems predictable plot developments ... we recently watched escape from new york and he couldn't get with it at all while he loved they live (of course that's the correct ranking)).
my two belmondos in recent years i think were the thief of paris (great) and pierrot le fou (intolerable).
anyway, he was more of a presence in the life of a boy in late 70s backwoods germany than most actors, maybe the most glamorous contemporary figure? e.g. i remember that pharmacies had a free magazine they gave out to kids and one of them featured a home story on belmondo. iirc his mansion had a tower and he would do a full round free-climbing the outside of the battlements every morning before breakfast (which consisted of sex and orange juice).
Robert Enrico, Les caïds, 1972
While I've enjoyed Patrick Bouchitey's later outings - see reviews passim - he's distinctly annoying here as the pretty young hoodlum Jock - one wonders why Serge Reggiani wants to take him under his wing . Reggiani and Jean Bouise are stunt drivers who "top up" their salary by robbing banks. Until one day the heist goes wrong and.. yawn. Even a good cast (though Juliet Berto is definitely not the actress you want to play Bonnie to Bouchitey's Clyde) can't save a second-rate script with a second-rate sub-Morricone (Roubaix) soundtrack. Not Enrico's best work, you can probably live without it.
Joe Dante, The 'Burbs, 1989
"Ozzie and Harriet meet Charles Manson" was how scriptwriter Dana Olsen described it, and the oddball mix of comedy and horror, the normal and the supernatural, obviously appealed to director Joe Dante, who shot it all on the backlot (fun details here for film buffs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_%27Burbs) and made a tidy profit, the movie grossing nearly $50m worldwide. It is, as Roger says,"somewhere between Beetlejuice and The Twilight Zone, but it lacks the dementia of the first and the wicked intelligence of the second and turns instead into a long shaggy dog story" but it's well made and fun to watch (though Hanks' histrionics tend to rub me up the wrong way quite easily).
Melvin Van Peebles, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, 1971
You can't but admire its crazy jumpcuts, wild editing (both of image and music, played by a then-unknown Earth Wind and Fire) and, shall we say, not-altogether-linear plot, and its subsequent influence on African-American cinema and culture in general is undeniable, but it's aged about as well as the Black Panther Party, for whom it was required viewing when it came out. It doesn't matter that MVP can't act at all, because he doesn't give himself much to say, but the supporting cast is equally dodgy. Still, file alongside Flaming Creatures, Chelsea Girls and Star Spangled to Death as things you might want to say you've seen at least once, just for the record. But once is probably enough.
Federico Fellini, Lo sciecco bianco ("The White Sheik"), 1952
Intrigued to read that the first screenplay was written by Michelangelo Antonioni - one wonders how it might have turned out had he directed it - as it is unmistakably Fellini through and through, which is not bad for his first solo outing as a director (1950's Variety Lights was co-directed by Alberto Lattuada). Many of what would later become the director's trademark obsessions are already there: the film within the film, an almost Proustian fascination with celebrity, and Fellini regulars Giulietta Masina (whose Cabiria would return five years later) and Nino Rota are delightful as ever. Hell, I can even take Alberto Sordi this time, too. Nice.
Jean-Luc Godard, De l'origine du XXIe siècle, 2000
Instead of me rapping on, cut & paste this http://jeanregardedesfilms.blogspot.com ... n-luc.html into DeepL and read it. Better still, watch the film (video, rather) four or five times, and marvel. Godard's mastery of montage - image, sound, text, music, the lot - is wonderful. Cheerful, no. Lucid - Bresson's favourite riposte to people who accused him of being pessimistic - yes. Marvellous.
Edgar Wright, Hot Fuzz, 2007
"Lethal Weapon in Somerset", indeed. Thanks as ever to my pal Henrik for pointing me in the direction of this one. Great fun, with a stellar cast and an average shot length of what must 0.001 seconds, it makes Snatch look like Satantango in comparison, is nearly as much fun as the former and a hell of a sight more fun than the latter
Jean-Gabriel Albicocco, La fille au yeux d'or, 1961
This must be the only time that Jonas Mekas ever agreed with Bosley Crowther https://www.nytimes.com/1962/08/21/arch ... -here.html, though for Mekas to take a dump on it for being pretentious is a bit rich. Whatever. Dunno if the gorgeous Marie Laforêt really had golden eyes, and I'm glad the director didn't opt for colour to spoil the fun. The somewhat obscure (though not all that hard to figure out, Bosley old chum) plot and rather literary dialogue - I doubt the wordplay came from the Balzac short story it was based on, though - might not be to everyone's taste, but you can file this alongside Rivette's Paris nous appartient (the wonderful Françoise Prévost is in them both) and several other early nouvelle vague lifestyles-of-the-young-rich-beautiful-and-famous outings (think Chabrol, Doniol, even early Robbe-Grillet). And from a pure cinematographic point of view, I'd say it's more impressive than all of them. I'd never heard of DP Quinto Albicocco (the director's father) before, but, damn, if everything else he filmed was as drop dead gorgeous as this, looks like I've got some catching up to do.