Wednesday, September 24, 2008


By far one of my favorite films. The use of real footage of Hiroshima, and the film itself was so powerful and moving I could not get over how it moved me. An event that happened so long ago was brought so closely into my consciousness of today. I couldn't imagine how moving this would be, to see 14 years after the events had actually happened. As much as the movie was a love story, it wouldn't be what it seems, without the tragic event looming throughout the movie. The abstractness of the way in which it was portrayed is compelling. I'm watching these lovers, and always having the eerie gorey afterthought of this unthinkable tragedy with me throughout the whole movie. It helps you see how they were living in the moment without being promised another day. Neither were thinking of how it's going to affect their present situations with their spouses. I felt in some was that they were deserving or entitled to their infidelity.

The story aside i thought cinematically this was beautifully shot. Dramatic body shots were sensual and yet I'm hearing and seeing horrible things. A great dynamic. Also I seemed to notice that in the beginning there was a lot of use of shapes and abstract art, which was visually captivating. The beginning half i was more partial to than the latter half. But, I think it was done intentionally in order to alienate me from the story, just as they felt alone. Even though it was challenging to follow at times, it seemed to make itself clear and apparent within it's entirety.

SuAnn Mitchell
ENG 5070

Monday, September 22, 2008


  Bresson is known for using his showing rather than his telling within his movies.  Most notably with his art in directing the obvious shots of actors hands and body movements.  The best example is when he shows the scene when he meets his mentor pick-pocketer friend Henri, who shows him the art of Slight-of Hand.
  Michel's character in the beginning is shown in an almost innocent light, even though he's trying to be a thief.  Which isn't exactly divulged in clear terms.  It might be that he's trying to pay back his mother, or e might be broke and bored.  Then he's progressively revealed as being a determined thief, who's looking for ways in which to get better. 
  It seems that it goes from being a serious hobby to an obsession.  Almost as if it's a compulsion, that he can't keep from resisting.  Constant urges overwhelm him into doing the wrong thing (as in stealing from his friends jacket pocket).  
  His character seems to have found a line, then crosses it, and there is no looking back for him.  Bresson shows the lack of need, for a complex script and uses images and sounds in order to sell his story.  

ENG 5070

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


  I think I'm in the minority when it comes to this movie.  As much as I did like it, appreciate it, and can see how it was inventive for it's time, I have some issues with it.  We discussed in class the different and unusual background/soundtrack to the movie, which most people liked.  I didn't. The reason I think is that the Jazz off-beat-ness was unsettling to me, and the cranking up of the music at random times and at extreme levels seemed bad, and almost accidental.
  Most people I think, thought that it added to the suspense, but I found it distracting to the movie.  So much so that it really put me off.  I'm a big believer in a good soundtrack that can make a movie, and help the audience get enthralled into the whole story.  And I didn't get that from this movie.
  I enjoyed the way in which the camera seemed to be following them around, like we were apart of the crime spree's.  You could definitely see the advancement in the lighter cameras, that were able to maneuver around to give you the "along for the ride" feel. It was noticeable that it was done through a B-Movie studio, which I feel cheapened the story, actors, and their performances.  Which I found to be convincing. 
  When it came to the nuances of Michel some I found very endearing, and some after a while seemed trite.  For example the running of the thumb across the lips at first seemed subtle and cute, and then became Trite and over-used.  Although in the end when Patricia's character does it in the end which didn't seem as contrived.  After discussing the significance of some of the "In On It" type things, like the references to Bogart I could see how it may have seemed as if it was a tribute of sorts.  But in my eyes I saw it being soo trite, that it cheesed it out.   
  All this being said, doesn't mean I don't see the significance of this film and how it's influenced what we see today.  But that I might look at it with a more judging eye, because it was/&is such an important film.

ENG 5070  

Monday, September 15, 2008

400 Blows

By far this movie is one of my favorites.  Truffaut took characters with major personality flaws and made them extremely likable (at least i thought so).  He gave them each moments of moral redemption that was unexpected of their character.  This intern shows you, that they have redeeming qualities.  Even with the Sourpuss teacher, i found myself liking his role and how he was a cranky old man, but he was still entertaining and at times you felt a little sorry for him, for dealing with the little brats.
There was a great deal of thought put into the shots, and the way they were actually shot.  The overhead shot of the kids following the gym teacher, and then taking off on their own was one of my favorite shots.  But Truffaut use's a lot of CU's, which i feel adds to the emotional intensity of each character.  And the use of still shots in a freeze frame gives a sense of suspended reality.
There was a part of me that wanted Antoine's family to end up "happily ever after".  Which is often not the case in real life.  This show's the difference from a Classic Disney/Hollywood movie ending, compared to a realists style of story telling.
I enjoyed the relationship between Antoine and his best friend Rene.  Their loyalty to each other, and their bond was well developed throughout the film.  Like with many of the other characters, namely his parents did Truffaut show how you can Love family, but can see their flaws that would ordinarily be devastating, but because it is your family, it's easy to forgive and still have the ability to Love them without being in a conventional family

SuAnn ENG 5070.   

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Les Cousins

The story was that of a naive country boy (Charles)who stays with his big city cousin (Paul), in order to go to school.  Charles the whole time being surrounded by Paul's questionable businesses.  Which one appears to be a brothel, or at least that's what it appeared to me.  Charles falls in love with one of the girls (Florence), who at first seems to feel the same. In the end they all betray him, and he is accidently shot to death.
Within the story context you want to empathize with Charles because he's trying so hard, and is always seeming to be the victim.  With school, and with Flo.  But how much can someone empathize with someone who is immediately professing his love to someone. (and who may be a hooker-of-sorts).  Then is stating that he doesn't care that she slept with her cousin, because he will get his turn. Even if he's trying to save face, which i'm not convinced that's what he was doing by saying that.  In fact, I think Charles has this facade of being sweet, and naive but may possess other darker qualities (the gun in Paul's face when he's sleeping).  He may have some of those qualities, but i believe you can see his resentment and anger coming out in certain scenes. 
Paul's character would seem to be less likable by his lack of virtues, and behaviors.  But somehow I like him more because, he doesn't hide who he is and doesn't try to pretend to be something he's not, and gives no apologies for who he is. I find it interesting that he's the one with the money, friends, and girls, and yet he wants what Charles had (Florence). Although he gets Flo, he doesn't quite get her in the capacity that Charles had her.  In his eyes, he at least tainted Flo in Charles's eyes.  Just because he could.
Florence's character was interesting, because again you wanted to feel for her but, you couldn't. (she slept with Paul) I have to say the way she was verbally belittled, made you wonder her background. Was she abused, or a runaway?? Is she not at fault for betraying Charles. 
I enjoyed the movie, it seemed very clean and cohesive.  The pacing of the movie was well maintained.  The quality of the picture, in the way it was shot, and edited was impressive to me.

ENG 5070