A woman who has long had a stifling marriage in a boring province. She has an affair with a traveling photographer, follows him to Paris, and then has a series of unsatisfactory but interesting relationships, one of which is with a woman. Continue reading Michel Mardore – Le mariage à la mode (1973)
In France in the near future, revolt and chaos erupt. A right-wing politician, Philippe Muphand, is set to take control when his lady friend Caroline walks out, announcing she will take up with the first fool she sees. The fool is Serge Laine, a professor and author of the prize-winning “Le voyage qui ne finit pas,” headed to the train station for tickets to Barcelona where he and his wife will enjoy a second honeymoon and he will lecture at the university. Caroline seduces Serge, and he soon abandons wife, family, job, and honesty to embrace Caroline, the romanticism of Jack London, and murder. Continue reading Luc Béraud – Plein sud AKA Heat of Desire (1981)
Private Fears in Public Places, (French: Cœurs (“Hearts”), is a 2006 French film directed by Alain Resnais. It was adapted from Alan Ayckbourn’s play Private Fears in Public Places. The film won several awards, including a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
In Paris, six people all look for love, despite typically having their romantic aspirations dashed at every turn.
For the second time in his career Alain Resnais turned to an Alan Ayckbourn play for his source material (having previously adapted another play for Smoking/No Smoking), and remained close to the original structure while transferring the setting and milieu from provincial England to the 13th arrondissement of Paris (contrary to his usual preference). Continue reading Alain Resnais – Coeurs AKA Private Fears In Public Places (2006)
Vivre sa vie was a turning point for Jean-Luc Godard and remains one of his most dynamic films, combining brilliant visual design with a tragic character study. The lovely Anna Karina, Godard’s greatest muse, plays Nana, a young Parisian who aspires to be an actress but instead ends up a prostitute, her downward spiral depicted in a series of discrete tableaux of daydreams and dances. Featuring some of Karina and Godard’s most iconic moments—from her movie theater vigil with The Passion of Joan of Arc to her seductive pool-hall strut—Vivre sa vie is a landmark of the French New Wave that still surprises at every turn. Continue reading Jean-Luc Godard – Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux AKA My Life to Live (1962)
It hardly needs saying that the adjective in the title is about as accurate as the one in Haneke’s Funny Games. Happy End is a satirical nightmare of haute-bourgeois European prosperity: as stark, brilliant and unforgiving as a halogen light. It is not a new direction for this film-maker, admittedly, but an existing direction pursued with the same inspiration as ever. It is also as gripping as a satanically inspired soap opera, a dynasty of lost souls. The movie rehearses almost all of Haneke’s classic themes and visual ideas: family dysfunction, inter-generational revenge, the poisonous suppression of guilt and the return of the repressed. There is the horror of death combined with a Thanatos-like longing for its deliverance – one line in particular shows how Happy End has been inspired by the climactic moment of his previous film, Amour. There is the distinctive preoccupation with surveillance and video recording as technologically unsparing moral reproaches to what we choose not to see in our own behaviour. And Haneke combines this with a new interest in the affectless visual texture of social-media livestreaming, instant messaging, and YouTube supercuts. Continue reading Michael Haneke – Happy End (2017)
A history teacher mets a hippy girl in Paris, he drops his job and starts a relation with her. So they start live together (vivre ensemble). A some point they do a trip to NY. Then they come back… Well this is the first film of Anna Karina as writer and director. Some images of Paris and NY in 72 are nice as an old postcard. Continue reading Anna Karina – Vivre ensemble (1973)
With its giddily complex noir plot and color-drenched widescreen images, Made in U.S.A was a final burst of exuberance from Jean-Luc Godard’s early sixties barrage of delirious movie-movies. Yet this chaotic crime thriller and acidly funny critique of consumerism—starring Anna Karina as the most brightly dressed private investigator in film history, searching for a former lover who might have been assassinated—also points toward the more political cinema that would come to define Godard. Featuring characters with names such as Richard Nixon, Robert McNamara, David Goodis, and Doris Mizoguchi, and appearances by a slapstick Jean-Pierre Léaud and a sweetly singing Marianne Faithfull, this piece of pop art is like a Looney Tunes rendition of The Big Sleep gone New Wave. Continue reading Jean-Luc Godard – Made in U.S.A (1966)