Paul is young, just demobbed from national service in the French Army, and dishillusioned with civilian life. As his girlfriend builds herself a career as a pop singer, Paul becomes more ... See full summary »
This tale centers around the love between Baptiste, a theater mime, and Claire Reine, an actress and otherwise woman-about-town who calls herself Garance. Garance, in turn, is loved by ... See full summary »
Pierre Lachenay is a well-known publisher and lecturer, married with Franca and father of Sabine, around 10. He meets an air hostess, Nicole. They start a love affair, which Pierre is hiding, but he cannot stand staying away from her.
In Paris, before WWI, two friends, Jules (Austrian) and Jim (French) fall in love with the same woman, Catherine. But Catherine loves and marries Jules. After the war, when they meet again in Germany, Catherine starts to love Jim... This is the story of three people in love, a love which does not affect their friendship, and about how their relationship evolves with the years. Written by
Why do so many people need to "get into the characters" "care about the characters" "identify with the characters", to enjoy or appreciate a great film? I think it's a type of selfishness, as shallow as the urge to reject an outcome one doesn't like. Examples: "I know it's good; but the ending was too down" (Lolita), or a woman I once heard criticize Unbearable Lightness of Being because one of the main characters is a womanizer who doesn't repent or have justice rendered to him. Ironically, in Jules and Jim, we see a woman who is a "manizer" whom some viewers are appalled or put off by).
Jules and Jim features three characters whose unrealism is beyond question - Truffaut himself might comment on how Catherine fascinated the other two, but I doubt very much he would claim any of the three to be "realistic". I think the whole thing is a fable, and therefore the three are more like archetypes. The beauty isn't really the story, but HOW the story unfolds, and, most importantly how it is told VISUALLY: the breeziness interrupted by dramatic outbursts (flames, jumping into the river, death by drowning), the exploration of love as a fleeing of tediousness and predictability, the hinting (yes there is a type of love between Jules and Jim, though not a homo erotic one) that friendship is always deeper than romantic love, the beautiful flowing and editing of sequences, for example: where all three go bicycling in the country.
The duty of film is to tell a story in moving images, to take advantage of the things that specifically make cinema different from drama or literature - moving the spectator about in space and time, which cannot be done in any other art form in quite the same way. But nothing about this movie is conventional, and people looking for "resolution", or a someone getting their comeuppances, or even a character learning more about himself must look elsewhere for gratification.
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