3 items from 2015
If René Clément's short collaboration with Jacques Tati in 1936 has its later development in the surprising (and political) slapstick of Che gioia vivere (1962), his technical assistance to Jean Cocteau on Beauty and the Beast pays off more rapidly with Le château de verre (The Glass Castle, 1950), starring Cocteau's beautiful beast, Jean Marais, and ice queen monstré sacré Michelle Morgan. This one came highly recommended by Shadowplayer David Wingrove, who saw in its opening sequence a foreshadowing of Last Year at Marienbad's glacial surrealism—frozen figures, somnambulent dancers, palatial surroundings. In fact, the Clément film comes with le jazz hot, and the frozen figures aren't frozen, but there is certainly an air of decadent mystery, with Jean Servais as the chess-playing husband a passable progenitor of the Resnais movie's sepulchral M.
But there's more! We begin with a disembodied voice (another Marienbad trope) and open in a fabulous grotto, »
- David Cairns
Scott Foundas: Hi Peter. Well, we’ve officially reached the midpoint of the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, although the most hotly anticipated event in this cold, cold town is still another day away. I’m talking, of course, about the world premiere of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which isn’t the kind of movie one typically thinks of as festival fare, but which events like Berlin and Cannes need as a kind of palate cleanser from the steady parade of world-class arthouse cinema from countries like Iran, China and Chile. Those movies may get you lots of ink in Variety, but it’s only a “Fifty Shades” that can get your red carpet splattered all over the picture pages of Vogue and Vanity Fair.
- Scott Foundas and Peter Debruge
While 2014 saw the passing of (reluctant) New Wave icon Alain Resnais, there was an intense resurgence of interest in the directorial efforts of Last Year at Marienbad (1961) scribe Alain Robbe-Grillet. Grillet and Resnais would never collaborate again, but it left the screenwriter with his own directorial options, which he used to explore his abstract fetishes in a filmography that would span ten films, many of which never made it to the United States. Kino Lorber’s Redemption label resurrected five rare titles for Blu-ray over the past year, including his 1963 debut L’immortelle and New Wave classic Trans-Europ-Express (1967). But it would be Grillet’s eighth feature that would serve to be his most internationally renowned, the 1983 La Belle Captive, which chanteys its way into Blu-ray this month courtesy of Olive Films. No more cohesive than any of the other puzzling titles in his filmography, the stunning work from DoP Henri Alekan »
- Nicholas Bell
3 items from 2015
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