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Author Topic: Jean-Pierre Melville  (Read 4030 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2017, 01:40:33 PM »

http://filmforum.org/series/melville-series

Not much tempts me here, because I've got them all on disc. EXCEPT When You Read This Letter, which I've never heard of until now. I just might have to go to that one . . .

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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2017, 06:08:28 PM »

http://filmforum.org/series/melville-series

Not much tempts me here, because I've got them all on disc. EXCEPT When You Read This Letter, which I've never heard of until now. I just might have to go to that one . . .

I cannot go to the Saturday showing, but I can probably go Tuesday May 9 at 7:25 pm


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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2017, 05:31:02 AM »

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/05/01/jean-pierre-melvilles-cinema-of-resistance

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« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2017, 08:48:29 AM »


Thanks! Great piece  Afro

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« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2017, 09:41:59 AM »

I can probably go Tuesday May 9 at 7:25 pm
Are you sure? You can make it to FF by 7:15?

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« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2017, 07:42:29 PM »

DJ wrote a bit about an obscure Melville film in RTLMYS THREAD
http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=7645.msg189491#msg189491

 I will copy and reply here:


Quote from: dave jenkins on Sunday:May 06, 2017, 10:38:42 PM
Jean-Pierre Melville 100, Film Forum
I can't make it Tuesday (sorry, Drink), so I went down today. The print was imported from France and didn't have regular subtitles; they made their own and had a specialist project them on to image as the film played. The print was a bit beat up but looked pretty good. It was a real b & w picture; not one of those b.s. high-contrast "restorations" we're always seeing now. A guy intro'd the film and asked if anybody knew if the film had ever been screened in NY before. The consensus was this was the first time. Tuesday may be the last time anyone here gets a chance to see it projected. Who knows when a home video version will come (apparently, even in France it's not available on DVD)? Drink, you should get down to FF and see this on Tuesday if you can. Leave work early, quit your job, cut your boss's throat--do whatever you have to do. Otherwise, all that praise you give Melville is just a pose.

When You Read This Letter (1953) – 8/10. A woman’s picture, shot by the great Henri Alekan using many authentic exteriors of the Cannes setting, the story is fantastic is both senses of the word. When her parents are killed, a novice, Therese (Juliet Greco), leaves her convent in order to take care of her younger sister, Denise. Meanwhile a mature woman with money, staying at the Carlton, is being pursued by Max, a young man out for the main chance. The paths of Max and Denise cross, and although she does what she can, Therese cannot protect her sister from this lothario. Eventually, though, Max decides he loves not Denise but Therese, but Therese isn’t having any. Max is thoroughly worthless, but a charmer. His three love interests are in various stages of self-deception as he flits among them. It may be Max will leave town with one of the women, but not without the promise of a large sum of money attached.

Ginette Vincendeau,  in Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris (2003), finds character motivations in the film unconvincing. However she likes a lot of the mise-en-scene. “Particularly remarkable is a scene on the beach in which Therese, having pursued Max ostensibly to retrieve the money he has stolen, is finally seen to fall for his charm. Hit by a pebble Max has thrown at her . . . Therese falters and he holds her in his arms on the moonlit beach, with the sea in the background. The shot is held for an unusual two minutes and twenty-three seconds. Although Therese’s sudden change of heart seems badly motivated, the shot pictorially has a poetic charge which overrides narrative inconsistency. At that point too, Greco’s hair, which had hitherto been tightly pulled back, suddenly falls loose on her shoulders and she is finally her ‘real’ self, in the more familiar Greco image.” (42-43)

There are many, many more wonderful images in the film, a feast for the eyes. No one in the NY area should miss the chance to see this.

---------

drinkanddestroy replies on Tuesday May 9:

I went to Film Forum tonight and saw the movie. I did not like it 6/10.

The theater was PACKED; these may be the only showings anyone gets to see of this movie, ever. The air conditioning was out of order in that screening room. Everyone was sweating and taking their outer layers of clothing off. I was sitting with 75-year-old women wearing only three layers!

Anyway, I am a big Melville fan; I'd seen 11 of his 13 movies (I also have not seen the one short), so I was happy to get to see this now. So  The only one I have not seen now is the one queer movie about Belmondo and the old man.

As I left the theater, I saw a big line to see Bob le Flambeur, which followed. I briefly thought about going to that movie also – even though I can easily rent a DVD from Netflix – but considering how hot it is in that screening room, I quickly disregarded that idea.

But, good job by Film Forum putting on this show.

« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 07:44:01 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2017, 06:14:13 AM »

DJ wrote a bit about an obscure Melville film in RTLMYS THREAD
http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=7645.msg189491#msg189491
I did not like it 6/10.
Hit a little too close to home, did it? Yeah, that Max character reminded me of a certain someone I know.

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« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2017, 07:12:36 AM »

More thoughts on this fascinating film. Needless to say--but I'm saying it anyway, because, apparently, idiots read this board--there are SPOILERS ahead.

Ginette Vincendeau believes that there is ambiguity in the movie’s ending. It is generally supposed that Therese is travelling by train to rejoin her convent, but GV suggests she may have decided to join Max instead. True, she had told her sister that it was to the convent she was going, but GV notes that she could have been lying or may have changed her mind. GV thinks this makes the ending more interesting. What she fails to mention, though, is that later we actually see Therese at the convent. (Is there perhaps another print of the film that does not contain this scene?) Of course, you could construct a chain of events in your mind that justifies Therese’s change of heart yet again (after she learns of Max’s death, she decides to actually go to the convent she hadn’t really intended returning to at first), but such a multiplication of assumptions doesn’t seem to me very convincing. The simplest answer seems best: she said she was going to the convent, and because she meant what she said, that’s where she went.

Vincendeau spends so much effort on her clever reading that she fails to explore a much more interesting ambiguity. The train that kills Max is the one on which Therese is riding (to go back to the convent or wherever). Had he not been killed, Max would have certainly boarded the train. His informant told him Therese was on the train, so he would have gone looking for her. He believes that Therese is coming to meet him, so even if that is not her intention, meet him she shall. Intervening circumstance prevent us from learning what might have happened, but we are free to speculate. Even if Therese was convent-bound, would the reunion with Max have changed that? Maybe Therese would not have been able to resist his blandishments a second time.  Maybe Max had to die so that Therese’s destiny as a nun could be fulfilled? Years before Kieslowski's cinema-of-chance, Melville was prompting this kind of discussion.

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« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2017, 07:51:23 PM »

DJ,

LEON MORIN, PRIEST is playing next week at Film Forum, which is advertising this as the US premiere of the version with 11 minutes put back into the film. I am not certain whether those 11 minutes are in the Criterion DVD (I can email FF and ask).

Are you interested in going?

http://filmforum.org/film/leon-morin-priest-film

I would like to go Sunday at 8:20. If that does not work for you, I can go to the 9:30 showing on Monday or Thursday.

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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2017, 05:37:45 AM »

DJ,

LEON MORIN, PRIEST is playing next week at Film Forum, which is advertising this as the US premiere of the version with 11 minutes put back into the film. I am not certain whether those 11 minutes are in the Criterion DVD (I can email FF and ask).

Are you interested in going?

http://filmforum.org/film/leon-morin-priest-film

I would like to go Sunday at 8:20. If that does not work for you, I can go to the 9:30 showing on Monday or Thursday.
The Criterion edition has them, I believe, as two deleted scenes in the supplements section. Neither scene does much to affect the plot. It would be mildly interesting to see those scenes integrated back into to the film, but it's not worth it to me to make a special trip to Manhattan just for that.

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« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2017, 11:42:18 AM »

DJ,

LEON MORIN, PRIEST is playing next week at Film Forum, which is advertising this as the US premiere of the version with 11 minutes put back into the film.
I watched the Criterion disc again. The two deleted scenes only account for 3-and-a-half minutes. If they really have put 11 minutes of actual footage back in (instead of, say, 8 minutes of restoration credits) then there may be some additions of interest there. Still, I'm not coming down for this. I'll wait until someone puts it out on disc and then buy that (yet again).

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« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2017, 12:33:59 PM »

What's the runtime of the Criterion?

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« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2017, 02:40:41 PM »

According to the Criterion website (which you could have checked yourself, you bum) it is 117 min. The new DCP is supposed to be 130 min. Again, if the additional 11 or so minutes is actual footage that has been reinserted, there may be scenes there of some significance.

At the Criterion site I noted that their editions of the discs (both blu and DVD) are out of print. Perhaps they are reprinting with the new restoration?

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« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2017, 02:47:35 PM »

According to the Criterion website (which you could have checked yourself, you bum) it is 117 min.

It's easier asking another bum.

My old Melville book lists the film with 2 runtimes: 114 and 128 min. No explanations for the differences though.

The German version was only 91 min short, but I saw it once on TV in one of the longer versions.

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« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2017, 07:27:16 PM »

According to the Criterion website (which you could have checked yourself, you bum) it is 117 min. The new DCP is supposed to be 130 min. Again, if the additional 11 or so minutes is actual footage that has been reinserted, there may be scenes there of some significance.

At the Criterion site I noted that their editions of the discs (both blu and DVD) are out of print. Perhaps they are reprinting with the new restoration?

On Amazon it says "tenporarily out of stock" https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004WPYO7E/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1494725044&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=leon+morin+priest&dpPl=1&dpID=41IeYATJSkL&ref=plSrch

I saw the movie once a while ago (I believe I rented the Criterion from Netflix). I did not like it. But I am willing to give it another chance. Especially if we have a chance now to see previously unreleased footage. I think I'll go Sunday night.

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