Tag Archives: Anne Wiazemsky

Robert Bresson – Au hasard Balthazar (1966) (HD)

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The story of a mistreated donkey and the people around him. A study on saintliness and a sister piece to Bresson’s Mouchette.

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In the French countryside near the Pyrenees, a baby donkey is adopted by young children – Jacques and his sisters, who live on a farm. They baptize the donkey (and christen it Balthazar) along with Marie, Jacques’ childhood sweetheart, whose father is the teacher at the small school next-door. When one of Jacques’ sisters dies, his family vacates the farm, and Marie’s family take it over in a loose arrangement. The donkey is given away to local farmhands who work it very hard. Years pass until Balthazar is involved in an accident and runs off, finding its way back to Marie, who is now a teenager. But her father gets involved in legal wrangles over the farm and the donkey is given away to a local bakery for delivery work. Read More »

Marco Ferreri – Il Seme dell’uomo aka The seed of man (1969)

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During a Post-Apocalyptic period in the near future the majority of the European population has been wiped out by some sort of undefined plague. Cino and Dora, a young couple, are rounded up by what constitutes the authorities on an isolated temporary base. They are examined and given antibiotics which will protect them for six months, told to pick out a deserted house to live in the area, and use that time to conceive a child. They are later visited by an enigmatic group of black-clothed, initially threatening vigilantes who are evidently satisfied with the couple when they hear that a child is contemplated. However, despite her evident fondness for Cino, Dora is reluctant to try to conceive a baby. Then their domestic tranquility is interrupted by a beautiful French interloper who seems as if she is more than willing to fill in for Nora and conceive Cino’s children. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard – La chinoise [+commentary] (1967)

Synopsis:
Born in a decade of political turmoil, La Chinoise has become a cinematic marker for the significant historical events that surrounded its creation. Five Parisian students, their political awareness aroused by Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, envision an overthrow of Western governmental systems – which they aim to bring about through acts of terrorism. One of Godard’s most brilliant films of the 60s, its success lies in the rejection of traditional narrative techniques: it is a dialectical charade which is as disturbing as it is comical. Though criticised in its day as a political manipulation, La Chinoise has proven alarmingly prophetic and its impact on audiences during the late 60s is echoed amongst viewers today. Read More »

Martial Raysse – Le Grand Depart (1971)

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Not a good movie, though a prime example of audacious, rule-breaking cinema. It’s an early seventies French film shown almost entirely in negative exposure, which in itself makes it worth a watch.

The Package
LE GRAND DEPART (THE GRAND DEPARTURE; 1972) was the only feature directed by the famed French painter and sculptor Martial Raysse. In keeping with the revolutionary spirit of the time, LE GRAND DEPART has no plot to speak of and appears to have been largely made up on the spot. It shares a kinship with such films as BEGOTTEN (1990) and the X-rated short THE OPERATION (1995), both of which experimented with negative exposure (and far more effectively).
For decades LE GRAND DEPART was thought a “lost” film, but in late 2008 it made its DVD debut (in France), to alternately enchant and disappoint viewers anew. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin – Le vent d’est AKA East Wind (1970)

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Two voices. One French, one American. A political tract concerning the issues of Communism in the workplace and ideals of freedom and equality, post-May, 1968, is recited back and forth over an obscured image of bodies slumbering in what appears to be a garden. The image is pastoral and idyllic in presentation, suggesting an almost abstract quality devoid of time and place. After a series of static images that simply observe these scenarios – largely with no real movement within the frame – we see a small group of actors preparing themselves for a film. As we continue, these actors, who speak Italian and are dressed in period costume, wander through this idyllic location as the narration goes on to discuss a cinema of revolution and the history of politics in cinema dating as far back as Sergei Eisenstein. Through this, the filmmakers are able to reflect on the notions of politics and history in both a cultural and cinematic sense; creating in the process a film that collapses elements of genuine historical fact, and superimposes them over the struggles and issues of the present day. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard – La Chinoise (1967)

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Synopsis:
Born in a decade of political turmoil, La Chinoise has become a cinematic marker for the significant historical events that surrounded its creation. Five Parisian students, their political awareness aroused by Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, envision an overthrow of Western governmental systems – which they aim to bring about through acts of terrorism. One of Godard’s most brilliant films of the 60s, its success lies in the rejection of traditional narrative techniques: it is a dialectical charade which is as disturbing as it is comical. Though criticised in its day as a political manipulation, La Chinoise has proven alarmingly prophetic and its impact on audiences during the late 60s is echoed amongst viewers today. Read More »