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Watching Carné's film I was guessing "this is proto-film noir, or maybe a French school of film noir?" I'll have to see what elements distinguish the two styles when I reach an "official" noir from the next decade.


Very nice. Two features, two shorts, two black-and-white, two Technicolor, two I've seen before, two I haven't yet...

I knew I wanted to see Le Quai des brumes, but now I know I must see it...and ASAP!

I love the "Film History Box." French film history context is something I'm lacking, though I've seen several films by directors like Vigo, Clair, Duvivier, etc. (no Feyder, Carne, or Gremillon from this decade yet though) And of course Renoir. I'm planning on seeing one of his 1938 films soon: La Marsellaise plays the theatre at SFMOMA tomorrow.

One thing though: do we really despise Boudu? There must be a better word. Sure, I might not want him as a housemate, but he's delightful to watch.


Brian - It's gratifying to know that something I've written inspires someone else to see a movie I truly enjoyed. You've done that for me more times that I can count so I'm happy to return the favor.

As for Boudu, despise might be too strong a word...wait a minute, though, if I recall correctly, didn't he rape the wife in that film? In which case despise is not a strong enough word. But, if I'm mistaken how about: "like to dislike"? Either way, Simon is excellent playing those kinds of roles.

I haven't seen La Marsellaise either. Let me know if you're going to write something about it. Love to read your take on it.


It does look a lot like rape, Thom. Eric Henderson put it well, I think: "Though the otherwise icy Mrs. Lestingois' trembling, giggly post-coital thaw after a scene that seems to imply rape indicates that her façade of honor is only really in place with the anticipation of being toppled." We can call this depiction of women's sexuality dangerously outmoded or worse, and despise the chauvinism of Renoir (and probably Boudu playwright Rene Fauchois as well) all we want for including it. But according to the (acceptable in its day) logic of the narrative, Boudu's lecherous behavior is appreciated by Madame Lestingois, if nothing else than as a form of payback for her husband's lack of romantic interest in her. I find it hard to despise the character Boudu for this.


Brian - I appreciate your opinon. Could be that Henderson's interpretation is correct. I should see the flick again (been a while). In spite of that let's agree that Simon is an actor extraordinaire, particularly when playing "likeable unlikeables" (my new term)?


Not to change the subject or end the conversation, but I also want to reply to your nice comment about the "Film History Box." Up until now it's been my modus operandi to include film history within the text of the post. This time I separated it into its own box. I'm curious, do you prefer the history separated out or integrated into the main body?

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