Round-Up: Pollet, Guitry, Robson/Lewton, Mizoguchi

Mediterranee (1963, Jean-Daniel Pollet) If the endless circuit of repetitive simulations and duplications continues then we should at least attempt to find some ecstasy, some liberty and some echoes of what we have lost within it. Jean-Daniel Pollet’s essay film is an edifice (strong yet weak, monumental but crumbling, still just together but ready to … Continue reading Round-Up: Pollet, Guitry, Robson/Lewton, Mizoguchi

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Brief, hurried thoughts on Le Deuxieme Souffle (1966, Jean-Pierre Melville) and Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Black on Gray) (1970)

“What was it like?” It’s a question often asked to a filmgoer once they have returned home, leaving behind their cinematic companions and rejoining those friends or family who wished to remain in the sunlight, not submitting themselves to the darkness of the auditorium and its resulting hints of eyestrain. Sometimes the filmgoer wishes they … Continue reading Brief, hurried thoughts on Le Deuxieme Souffle (1966, Jean-Pierre Melville) and Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Black on Gray) (1970)

Pialat in Turkey

Bosphore (1964) Byzance (1964) La Corne d'Or (1964) Istanbul (1964) Maitre Galip (1964) Pehlivan (1964) On assignment Maurice Pialat and cameraman/cinematographer Willy Kurant go to Turkey, in disguise as the Lumiere brothers (less than a decade after Louis died), and send back a series of actualities, six in total. The opening trio work more in … Continue reading Pialat in Turkey

Near to Here: Le Proces De Jeanne D’Arc (1962, Robert Bresson)

“There are a million places to put the camera, but there is really only one.”- Ernst Lubitsch Robert Bresson’s Le Proces De Jeanne D’Arc is a film about two things; the distance between and overlapping of separate worlds, and the reconstruction of a young woman freed from myth. What’s remarkable is the clarity of these … Continue reading Near to Here: Le Proces De Jeanne D’Arc (1962, Robert Bresson)

Always Watching, Always Afraid: Le Horla, Guy De Maupassant, Jean-Daniel Pollet

Being a fan of the cinema today occasionally leaves you feeling like a character in a Jacques Rivette film, part of some underground conspiracy that seems at one moment vast, the next small and insignificant, concrete and yet dissoluble at any moment. Film maudits and the work of cult directors (and here I speak of … Continue reading Always Watching, Always Afraid: Le Horla, Guy De Maupassant, Jean-Daniel Pollet