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Nostalgia on film
Captures beautifully how much simpler life seemed back in the 90s and early 2000s. Friends, Fun and Drama without all the social media and fast-paced nonsense of our digital, online age that killed the romance in our lives. Oh how much I would give to go back to then.
The aesthetics of the film were great too. Really gave off a convincing retro vibe that matched nice with the throwback soundtrack. Bravo.
À bout de souffle (1960)
A Classic only because it was the first of its kind.
A character study about Michel ( Jean-Paul Belmondo ), a young criminal who acts tough and tries to be like Bogart, and Patricia (Jean Seberg), an American who sells the New York Herald- Tribune. Patricia's involvement with him seems to be purely because of her curiosity towards his affection and his strange, comical behavior almost identical to the one which is shown again in "Pierrot le Fou". Jean Seberg's acting is ridiculously dull and her expressions throughout the film are almost as uneventful as the plot of the film itself. Jean- Paul Belmondo's acting on the other hand, although full of style is still unconvincing. You cant really blame him though, his character's persona is just not in any way believable. The level of detachment and obliviousness is simply too extreme. The Film's music is also absolutely horrendous, I doubt I could recall a movie that has a genuinely worse soundtrack.
However, the truly disgusting thing about this movie, is the amount of jump cuts Godard forcibly tries to stuff down our throat, it makes me wonder whether the films last lines were really referring to Godard himself.
Out of boredom ( due to the films basically non-existent plot ) I couldn't help but resort to wondering whether these extremely disturbing 'jumpcuts' were necessary. The answer, which is also the answer to most French New Wave films is yes and no. If the film did not contain these 'jump cuts', many of them purposely used in the most unconventional way possible, the film would not have its historical importance and status of being revolutionary. The jumps cuts in this Film have no real purpose other than to rebel against cinema norms at the time and attract attention as a result. In other words there was no 'message', 'deeper meaning' or even aesthetic purpose behind them. Its only purpose was to distinguish this film, which without all its pretentious bull would be no more than a boring, poorly written and poorly acted character study, from all the other boring, poorly written and poorly acted character studies. The Film instead is a NEW, DIFFERENT and MODERN boring, poorly written and poorly acted character study. These days the film is met with enthusiasm, mainly because without objective standards, style is valued over substance and originality is valued over genuine merit.
Although you cannot deny the historical importance of this film as a cinematic landmark, you can definitely question it. There's no harm in rebelling against norms to create effect but never at the expense of overall enjoyment. Breathless however, simply rebels for shock value and to standout as something new, different and as most New Wave fans would put it 'Bold.'
Jeune et jolie (2013)
The Thrill of Having Men Pay to Make Love to you
Isabelle is 17, astoundingly beautiful, with many young men willing to have sex with her; yet she lives a double life as a prostitute for older men showing little to no interest in the money she obtains from it.
So why does she do it?
The way that Ozon answers this question is what makes the Film so interesting to watch, that and of course the fact that Marine Vacth, who plays young Isabelle brilliantly, is so intensely addictive to look at.
"I could only make the film if I had an actress who was fascinating to look at ... it had to be an actress that the viewer, and myself, wanted to look at - almost as you'd look at an insect."
Isabelle's first sexual experience is cold, she feels used, she imagines herself watching with absolute disgust. After this experience she decides to be a prostitute serving older men in hotels. When one client doesn't pay the full agreed fee, it seems to distress Isabelle a lot more than what we'd expect considering she shows little use for the money she earns. But evidently its not the money that distresses her its the feeling that her sex isn't worth a lot, the doubt about her personal beauty, that men don't value her enough to pay the full amount. In the bar scene Isabelle has with Alice (Charlotte Rampling) Georges's widow, Alice tells Isabelle that she always wished men would pay to make love to her. Isabelle seems to relate to this and we see that they have reached an understanding. Alice is the only person in the film who seems to understand why Isabelle engaged in prostitution.
One of her regular clients, Georges, treats her more tenderly, pays without her needing to ask and seems genuinely fulfilled by her. When she explains this to the psychiatrist and that Georges's death saddened her, we realize what she really wanted, affection from her lovers which would prove that she is desirable. But since affection seemed foreign to her, she wanted proof by making men pay high amounts of money just to screw her. The assurance thrilled her and made her enjoy arranging times to offer her services. Georges was special to her, he not only payed but also acted affectionately, he asked her about her life and didn't demand much of her.
On the whole, the movie is brilliant. Marine Vacth's acting is superb, and Francois Ozon shows us in an articulate manner the inexplicable and unpredictable nature of a sexually-blossoming teenager's mindset.