Tag Archives: Jean-Luc Godard

Theatrical Picks for 9/7/07 – 3:10 to Yuma and Pierrot le fou for St. Louisans

In wide release, we have 3:10 to Yuma, the latest in a series of attempts over the last decade or so to bring the western back. Most of these attempts have been massively unsuccessful, but from the advance buzz, 3:10 to Yuma and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (opening in two weeks in limited release) could make this the year that changes that. Russell Crowe takes on the role of a captured outlaw, while Christian Bale assumes responsibility for getting him to the train station in time for the 3:10 train to Yuma, where he’ll be tried. The film is a remake of the 1957 film of the same name, directed by Delmer Daves and starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin–I haven’t seen the original, so my point of reference is that it sounds sort of like High Noon in reverse. I’m planning on going to see it on Saturday. In the meantime, here’s the trailer, and here’s an extremely positive review from CinemaFusion. (It’s sitting fairly pretty on Rotten Tomatoes, too, with a score of 82% Fresh).

Other wide releases this week are Shoot ‘Em Up, which looks like it could be all kinds of terrible, but also all kinds of fun, what with Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, and Paul Giamatti largely tasked with shooting stuff up, and The Brothers Solomon, apparently the latest in the increasingly annoying category of stupid buddy comedies. However, it does have Jenna Fischer in it, and she’s so adorable on The Office that I hesitate to scratch it completely off my “rent sometime after I’ve watched everything else” list.

On the limited release side of things, there’s Hatchet, which would be a prime example of the sort of horror movie I HATE, and In the Shadow of the Moon, a documentary about the 1960s-1970s Apollo moon missions which looks quite interesting. But if you live in St. Louis, you have the opportunity to see Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le fou at the Tivoli in the Loop. This film is out of print on DVD, who knows when it’ll be back (but hopefully the theatrical rerelease means it’ll be put back on DVD soon), and I only wish I were in St. Louis right now to see it, because I haven’t and I REALLY REALLY want to. It’d probably be a little fanatical, though, to travel 800 miles to see one film, though, wouldn’t it? Yeah, that’s what I thought. I keep trying to see if it’ll turn up in Austin, but my knowledge of where to look for classic rereleases in Austin is shoddy at best. Here’s the Post-Dispatch’s item on the film. And here’s the trailer, but I warn you, trailers for Godard films are not really very helpful at finding out what they’re about (although I’m starting to question more and more if “what is it about” is a helpful question to ask about a film anyway). The title card that says “Belmondo and Karina in a Godard film” is all I need to know about it to Want.It.Now.

(On a tangentially related subject, I just ran across a trailer that had been removed from YouTube due to copyright violations–I mean, okay, yeah, I suppose trailers are copyrighted. But how in the world does “fewer people see the trailer” translate into “more people see the film”? Trailers are marketing materials and marketing materials are more effective the more people that see them, right? So you should post them everywhere that’ll take them, right?)

June 2007 Reading/Watching Recap

I did not watch or read a lot of great stuff in June. I think I gravitated toward somewhat mindless fare on the movie side due to the effort of reading (skimming?) two novels a week for class, and the reading was dictated completely by the class–which was on Joseph Conrad, D.H. Lawrence, and Virginia Woolf. I’m glad I read the Conrad and the Lawrence for the experience of it, but I didn’t really enjoy either of them. Woolf, of course, I’m in love with. Her writing. That is. After the jump, reactions to Babel, Pretty in Pink, Dogville, Anchorman, Zoolander, Ocean’s Thirteen, Borat, A Woman is a Woman, Paris, je t’aime, Ratatouille, Nostromo, Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, To the Lighthouse and others.

(There are a lot of links in the post…let me know if you try one and it’s broken, okay?)

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Jean-Luc Godard – a course in cinema

I’ve still only seen a small percentage of Jean-Luc Godard‘s total number of films, which I regard as a good thing, because it means I will have many future wonderful Godard film experiences. If you’d asked me two months ago whether François Truffaut or Jean-Luc Godard were the better filmmaker (or at least my favorite filmmaker), I would have said Truffaut without batting an eye. But the decision would have been hasty, and after Breathless, Band of Outsiders, A Woman is a Woman and My Life to Life (and Contempt, but I need a rewatch on that one) I’m pretty much a Godard fangirl. In addition to his films being enjoyable on their own terms, they’re also like mini-courses in cinema technique and history. Which I suppose is unsurprising for a filmmaker who started as a cinephile at the Cinématheque Française and critic for the Cahiers du cinéma.

Video clips and discussion of Band of Outsiders, A Woman is a Woman and My Life to Live after the cut. Yes, I should’ve included something from Breathless as well, but it’s been a while since I saw it, so I would be less competent at choosing and discussing clips. Incidentally, July 11 has apparently been declared Fair Use Day, and the use of film clips for purposes of criticism and education falls under fair use, so even though I’ve been planning this post for a few days, it’s appropriate that it worked out for me to post it today.

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To Ponder – The New Wave, Modern or Postmodern?

I have pondered before whether the French New Wave was perhaps when Modernism hit film, after it hit literature in the 1920s…there still might be some things to support that, but having now seen a few more Jean-Luc Godard films, it’s clear he’s very much postmodern in his reappropriation of earlier film, hugely self-conscious techniques, etc. I’m working on a paper comparing Modernism to Postmodernism in the literary sphere, and the more I read about, the more I think that in a way, Modern vs. Postmodern is a mindset, almost…there were writers doing Postmodern things in the 1920s, and there were Modernist writers in the 1960s–certainly I’m having trouble believing that Postmodernism is as much a rejection of Modernism as Postmodernists would like us to think; it seems to me much more an extension and enlarging than a rejection. Anyway, here’s my new pondering: Is it possible that François Truffaut, with his detached yet subjective philosophical realism which owes more to the high art Italian Neorealism than it does to American B cinema, is the Modernist side of the New Wave and Godard, with his self-reflexivity and dependence on intertextual tropes from low-art crime film, is the Postmodern side? I’m not sure that wholly holds up, either…I’m about to rewatch Truffaut’s Shoot the Piano Player, which is more heavily influenced by American genre film. This pondering is stemming from the differences between The 400 Blows (Truffaut’s first and arguably most important film) and Breathless (Godard’s equivalent masterpiece).

April 2007 Reading/Watching Recap

Guess what! I finally finished April’s recap! I know, right? April was the month in which I rediscovered Turner Classic Movies during a few weeks of relative dead time at school and, between that and an active month of Netflixing and theatre-going, watched a total of 24 movies. I think that’s a record. And that’s not even including the four or five rewatches. So without further ado, here are my reactions to Marie Antoinette, Band of Outsiders, Kiss Me Deadly, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, The Lives of Others, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Through a Glass Darkly, Hot Fuzz, and many others. Plus some books.

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