a seemingly random journey through cinema's heart of darkness. so to speak.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

That's Brechtian!

Once I finally shake the damn thing off, I'll throw you some words on my bout with Béla Tarr's Sátántangó, though many of them will be on the caliber of "fawesome," "frad," and "ftranscendent." Till then, let's plug away. In the latest Weekly, I did reviews (2nd and 3rd down) of the creepy missionary adventure End of the Spear and Transamerica, two lousy movies, one of them with a pretty terrific, mostly gimmick-free and, finally, Golden Globe-winning performance. Also, Rep, with coverage of an excellent retro on Luc Moullet, Mr. Neglected Nouvelle Vaguer. Anyone within throwing distance should basically give up their weekend for the Moullet deluge, as 1) the man never gets attention, 2) who is this man again?, and 3) this man is pretty damned accomplished in his proudly amateurish, defiantly lo-fi, cineaste-laden weirdness. And varied, to boot: in three days, you can see a filmmaker go from freewheeling Bande á Part-ness (Brigitte and Brigitte) to actual implosion (A Girl is a Gun) to emotional and otherwise nudity (Anatomy of a Relationship) to a gagfest so assured yet rarified in its humor it'd be a wonder if even Jerry Lewis-lovin' frogs love it (The Comedy of Work, which is hilarious). I saw Moullet's 1968 comedy The Smugglers almost three years ago during a fest of obscure French New Wave films, of which it stood out. I always wondered what his other work was like, but had treated the notion of seeing for myself with the same optimism reserved for catching the full Magnificent Ambersons. So, kudos are in order. New Yorkers can wait till (I believe) February, when the retro will head north, with a more comprehensive roster. (Along with adopting two more features, among them the aforemtioned The Smugglers, it will surely sport a more than modest helping of his dozen or so shorts. One of them, 1988's man-vs.-Coke feud Opening Tries, is pictured above.) But Philly-delphians can cut back on bus fare money by doing what they can now. Hear me now, believe me later: Moullet will rank with the Rivettes, the Chabrols, and the Godard's one day, if not in his or my or your lifetime. One look at Brigitte X 2's man-on-the-street film survey sequence -- "My dream is to die while watching a film," says one -- and you know the Criterion set would sell like hot cakes, if it existed and people knew of same.

I would also like to apologize for the recent spate of exclamation points in post titles. I should know better.


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