Wednesday, 21 July 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 309

338 - Jules Et Jim - 2 stars
One of the "classics" of the French New Wave but I found myself unsusceptible to its charms.
Stylistically it was not as flashy as previous favourite A Bout De Souffle, instead taking a more classic and linear approach to this tale of three people in love.
Indeed you could call the relationship between Jules, Jim and Catherine, one of the original threesomes, or "menage a trois" I believe its called.
The problem I had with the central trio and therefore the film is that I didn't care about any of them.
A quick summary of the relationship goes as follows: Jules loves Catherine, they get married and have a daughter, Catherine tires of Jules and wants to be free, Jules persuades Jim to go out with her in order to keep her around, Jim and Catherine plan to marry but jealousy and free spirited Catherine cause the entire relationship to break down.
It is more of an emotional menage a trois, at no point do the three of them sleep together. Just before any of you get any ideas.
The main problem I had was with Catherine. I found her to be a self-absorbed, crazy woman who didn't have any appealing features, so when the relationship disintegrates I didn't feel sorry for any of them and felt they got exactly what they deserved (which actually might seem kind of harsh considering how it ends!).

41 - Le Quatre Cent Coups (The 400 Blows) - 4 stars
A much better film by Truffaut than the previous effort. Unlike the flashy showy style of Godard's Breathless, Truffaut uses a more simplistic, linear style and structure to the tale of a young boy who is neglected by his parents and bullied at school by teachers and pupils, partly based on autobiographical experience.
It is tough, gritty with a naturalistic performance from the young boy but thankfully does offer a sliver of hope to the audience.

Days remaining - 56 Films remaining - 57

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