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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:11 am 
Dot Com Dom
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I was referring to the Muriel-ed color palette switch as "yucky." I barely remember the Devil, Probably, but I've been toying with a Bresson revisit tour and rewatching this def made me want to dive back in again


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:18 am 
Dot Com Dom
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Also, I hadn't heard the anecdote Quandt shares about how after Bresson submitted his abridged top film list to Cahiers du Cinema and claimed to not go to the movies, the Young Turks hired a private detective to follow him around, after which they discovered he actually went to the movies all the time, and in a ritualistic manner. The whole story sounds too perfect to be true, but I want it to be true


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:54 pm 

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Were there other reasons for hiring a private detective? Are the details of Bresson's ritual made clear?

Does Quandt speak at all about the Tolstoy story? I'm familiar with the story--the Forged Banknote (or Forged Check--it's given a different title in almost all the translations I've seen).

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I am basing this anecdote from my initial days of plunging into classic cinema, but I remember reading that Bresson left out the Christian redemptive cycle aspect of the Tolstoy ending. This puzzled me because Bresson is usually pegged as the Catholic filmmaker, though I've seen that questioned a few times, and because he so frequently takes from the big question seeking-often Christian converting Russians. I can't say this for sure because this remains one of two Bresson's films I have not seen--hoping to change that with this B&N sale or the next flash sale.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:17 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Yes, the ritual involves going to the same Left Bank theatre and standing in front of the poster before stroking the art and entering to watch the film. And Quandt does indeed touch on the source quite a bit


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:22 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
I was referring to the Muriel-ed color palette switch as "yucky." I barely remember the Devil, Probably, but I've been toying with a Bresson revisit tour and rewatching this def made me want to dive back in again

You're right. This comes from the same team at Eclair who did the Muriel 4K. Without going on about it I think I've got a handle on how they did this. They seem to have pumped the white way up to hot on the dial way far from 65000IRE which has the effect of pushing the primaries including red which itself pushes blue out into places it should never be seen. Hence the comments on "teal-iness" that people have made. You can if you have the equipment fiddle with all of this and recalibrate the white temp and then play with juggling primaries and secondaries but why the fuck should anyone have to do this when the rigghsholders have spent a fortune on an expensive restoration. In every other respect both films have technically been brilliant and flawlessly handled for balck, grayscel and every other element of improvment. and rescue. But Eclair and Bruno at the desk for colorist seems to be on a mission to reinvente French Eastman color palette from years 1960 to 2000. I talked about Eclair quite a bit with other people at Bologna - I am obviously not alone in my concerns.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:36 pm 
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Disappointing indeed. I would love to hear their explanation.

I watched it last night. I love the presentation except for the yellowishness for lack of a better term. I guess CC is locked into this, correct?

Holy smokes, that Cannes Q&A was painful to watch. Those questions! Bresson did not want to be there.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:13 pm 
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I've seen worse, but it does take you out of the film a bit when the look is obviously wrong. I wish these restorations had ungraded masters available for licensing, at least it would give other labels like Criterion the chance to grade these films correctly.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:36 am 
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Bologna has its own different issues though. If they could stop doing yellowish dull color grading on all the movies they grade, that would be nice too.
And Eclair sadly aren't the only ones who tend to do "yellow-ish" restorations, Digimages is doing it too (I'm still not fully convinced by what they did on some of the Demy movies for instance).


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:28 am 
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Much like others here, I am not a fan of the heavy-handed yellow grade. But, unlike MURIEL, at least in this case, the whites appear *white* and not beige, so there seems to be a method to the madness. Perhaps I'm just glad to finally have L'ARGENT on blu.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:10 pm 
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If Eclair had really been interested in reference prints it could have simply copied the source New Yorker used for its otherwise woeful DVD.

Remy while I agree about Bologna's record on color grading they can really deliver the goods when they care. Their 4k open air screening of Steamboat Bill Jnr. at the Piazza Maggiore complete with carbon arc lamp was one of the heart stopping high points.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:43 pm 
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Yes, but Steamboat Jr isn't a color movie. They're very good at B&W movies, but they aren't much better than Eclair when it comes to grading color movies. No matter which movie you feed them, you end up with the same color biases.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:31 pm
I'm a pretty big fan of Bresson. Os this one as good as some of his earlier work, like Un homme s'est echappe or Pickpocket? And how annoying is the yellow grading?


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:50 am 
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It's recognizably a "late work," and attracts the same debate as other artists' late works as to whether it represents a falling off or a culmination. Some people regard it as his crowning achievement, while on the other hand it was notoriously booed at Cannes. It's a harrowing film, but not more so than Au Hazard, Baltazar.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:07 am 
Dot Com Dom
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I'd say that it's just behind Pickpocket as one of his best films. Cannes booing means literally nothing for any film


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:10 am 
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domino harvey wrote:
Cannes booing means literally nothing for any film

The Last Face anyone ? \:D/


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:10 am 
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tenia wrote:
domino harvey wrote:
Cannes booing means literally nothing for any film

L'avventura anyone ? \:D/


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:09 pm 
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I'll be controversial and say The Devil, Probably is his best film and is a personal favorite of mine. I knew one gentleman who proclaimed it was too depressing (As if all the other ones were saccharine explosions of love?) I also enjoy (?) L'Argent a great deal.

What I'd really like to see is Un Femme Douce and Four Nights of a Dreamer but they appear to be MIA everywhere. Anyone know what the deal with those two are?


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:14 pm 
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L'Argent was my first Bresson - on its original release - and so it has a very special place in my heart. Given Bresson's consistency (and I've seen all his films on 35mm, most several times), I'd be reluctant to single out just one defining masterwork, but L'Argent is the only one that invariably has me trembling at the end.

I'm also very fond of The Devil, Probably, although I wouldn't rank it as high.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:31 pm
Maybe I'll pick this one up then when I see it cheaper. Given how Au hazard, Balthazar devastated me (and not in a good way) I'm not in a rush to experience that again, or something that approximates that.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:07 pm 
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I certainly don't recommend L'Argent as relaxing viewing, no. It's because it's so single-mindedly and forensically focused that it's so powerful, but it's one of Bresson's most formally demanding films because it's so uncompromising.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:30 am
The last works of most filmmakers are particularly interesting even if only for the significance they might have to the filmmakers, who in most cases are aware of the improbability of another film. I believe Bresson at 83 would have felt this too, though its been said that he always wanted to make a movie on the Genesis. While it's not as depressing or negative in its outlook as "The Devil, Probably", it's certainly his most pared, most structured work. He almost created a hyper-realistic film which works equally powerfully as a fable, both its detailed earthiness (specially in sound-design and the contemporaneity of its narrative) and abstract idealism (with all his religious baggage) balancing each other.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:35 pm 
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Big Ben wrote:
I'll be controversial and say The Devil, Probably is his best film and is a personal favorite of mine. I knew one gentleman who proclaimed it was too depressing (As if all the other ones were saccharine explosions of love?) I also enjoy (?) L'Argent a great deal.

What I'd really like to see is Un Femme Douce and Four Nights of a Dreamer but they appear to be MIA everywhere. Anyone know what the deal with those two are?


Four Nights of a Dreamer is currently being streamed on FilmBox, available through AmazonPrime.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:38 pm 
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What was particularly exciting about watching it for the first time (something I remember as vividly as though it were yesterday, even though it was 34 years ago) was the fact that I was thrown right in at the deep end - I knew nothing at all about Bresson's singular methods. But I quickly grasped that the lack of what I'd normally consider to be the basic building blocks of film grammar - establishing and reaction shots, for instance - served to focus the film so ruthlessly on its central subject that it became absolutely riveting from first frame to last. Other Bresson films have come close to the same impact, but I'm always going to be using L'Argent as a comparator.


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:00 pm 
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Mr Sheldrake wrote:
Four Nights of a Dreamer is currently being streamed on FilmBox, available through AmazonPrime.


This no longer appears to be available.

MichaelB wrote:
What was particularly exciting about watching it for the first time (something I remember as vividly as though it were yesterday, even though it was 34 years ago) was the fact that I was thrown right in at the deep end - I knew nothing at all about Bresson's singular methods. But I quickly grasped that the lack of what I'd normally consider to be the basic building blocks of film grammar - establishing and reaction shots, for instance - served to focus the film so ruthlessly on its central subject that it became absolutely riveting from first frame to last. Other Bresson films have come close to the same impact, but I'm always going to be using L'Argent as a comparator.


I don't know how to express this any other way but L'Argent in particular seemed to have all the fat trimmed out of it. It was, as you say, focused ruthlessly on it's central subject. There's no filler. Just a focus on what Bresson wanted to portray. I am mystified as to why more directors do not take this approach. Especially major studios. A shorter tighter film would even allow more screenings!


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 Post subject: Re: 886 L'argent
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:02 pm 
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bottled spider wrote:
it was notoriously booed at Cannes

As domino suggested, that's such a common occurrence that "notoriously" should officially be retired as an appropriate adverb for it. A Cannes boo could mean anything from "the director is a neo-nazi" to "the script was deeply flawed but I liked the bits with the cats" to "could have been five minutes shorter" to "I don't like the dress she wore on the red carpet" to "is it time to boo yet?"


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