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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:39 pm 
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Ok, nothing to worry about then.... Now i will go watch the movie again...

Just to put this baby to bed I double checked this morning. The two scenes that were done with live audio--the song and the preceding scene--are perfect but I noticed a couple other spots where the actors occasionally mouthed words that they missed during the dubbing sessions or would flub their timing a bit. Still, he outdubs Fellini by a mile.

On flickering, I don't know what that is but it's shown up on a number of Criterion and non-Criterion releases. I noticed it during New York, New York from the recent Scorsese box too.

Also, I like this film very much--and Shoot the Piano Player is my favourite Truffaut, actually--but I'm too lazy to write down any thoughts. Maybe it's all this heat, or smog or, hey, maybe it's like Coutard--I think it was from the Coutard interview--said and this film's too magical to talk about. Great film though. And the package seemed more thorough than the Doinel box set to me, somehow.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:49 pm 
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I would easily rate this as my favorite Truffaut, with Two English Girls at a close second. Maybe I just have a thing for movies about love triangles? I enjoy the 400 Blows, but find it much more sentimental than, apparently, many other viewers. Shoot the Piano Player seemed overly calculated to me, but possibly I need to revisit it. I've been waiting until I get the DVD to start gabbing about Jules and Jim though, and I'm waiting until the June releases to buy the DVD. Patient.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:46 pm 
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I had this discussion with a co-worker awhile back but my memory is hazy on it. What exactly is the sexual politics of Jules and Jim that has it out of favor in America?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:53 pm 
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AMB wrote:
What exactly is the sexual politics of Jules and Jim that has it out of favor in America?

Well, the US critics I've heard/read this from usually just mention that they feel that the sexual politics of the film are "dated", but you know, I've never actually read any critic's explanation for their use of the term. They just sort of mention it and then move on without any real rationale given.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:39 am 
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Andre Jurieu wrote:
Well, the US critics I've heard/read this from usually just mention that they feel that the sexual politics of the film are "dated", but you know, I've never actually read any critic's explanation for their use of the term. They just sort of mention it and then move on without any real rationale given.

I agree totally - no reason for dismissing it as 'dated', they just think it is...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:01 am 
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I think what's fallen out of favor is the original misinterpretation. When the film was first released, U.S. critics and audiences hailed Catherine as a feminist prototype and the film as a proponent of sexual freedom (Truffaut was horrified by this interpretation and never understood it). People watch it nowadays, influenced by the original interpretation, and decide it doesn't work as a feminist or sexual freedom tract, and so dismiss it as "dated." They're still misinterpreting it. As Truffaut said, the theme of the film is that "monogamy is impossible, but anything else is worse."


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:33 am 
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Sex f#cks everything up. That's my interpretation.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2005 10:44 am 
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Exellent interpretation, oldshepherd. How so true unfortunuately.

Jules and Jim has very long scenes with endless background narrating and brilliantly seamless editing. It has a dreamy, melancholy feeling to it. I finally watched it last night after years of postponing. Jules and Jim is the most complex Truffaut film I've seen so far.

Catherine radiates such an ethereally haunting aura - many kudos to Jeanne Moreau's finest work. Even though the film is not about her hence the title - Jules and Jim, she's among one of the most unsettling characters ever created for cinema period.

The ending left me feeling very uncertain, surprised, confused and sad no matter how much I sensed that was coming. My partner thought the guys deserved what happened because they were being so stupid for failing to see beyond the woman's face. Yes and no. The characters are too complex to absorb or figure out after just one viewing. I plan to watch this film again very soon. I think Jules and Jim is quite an achievement in cinema. Charming, bitter, nostalgic, poetic .. it's like going through an old photo album with lonely carnival music playing in the distance on a cold, foggy night. If I had to pick one word to describe this film, it'd be luminous!

Some people call the film "sexist". I fail to see that because everyone - man or woman - gets screwed one way or other.

I can easily see why Wim Wenders and Wes Anderson adore Jules and Jim. The gorgeous, dreamy aerial shots brought my mind to one of my faves, Der Himmel Uber Berlin. Jeunet paid a little homage to the film in his Amelie. There is a conversation about Jules and Jim in Tarantino's Pulp Fiction from what I recall.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2005 4:26 pm 
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Michael wrote:
There is a conversation about Jules and Jim in Tarantino's Pulp Fiction from what I recall.

Not really. There is only a reference to Truffaut's film in the name of the characters. Tarantino's character (in a really lame performance) is named Jimmy, and Samuel L. Jackson's hitman is named Jules. Tarantino envisioned that they were very close friends in the past, which is why Jules crashes at Jimmy's place when Marvin is accidentally shot in the face by Vincent. This of course leads to Jules attempting to defuse some of the tension in the house by discussing Jimmy's exquisite choice in coffee, to which Jimmy retorts "Don't fuckin' 'Jimmy' me Jules!" I have no idea if Bonnie is supposed to have been the Catherine of their relationship though.

... and please don't let this be another jumping off point to another tired discussion of how Tarantino is the death of cinema and his technique is cinematic blasphemy. We've already had that discussion a million times before, without covering any new territory or anyone changing their position.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:31 pm 
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I couldn't stop thinking about Jules and Jim for days. I watched it again last night and all I have to say that it's utterly one of the finest films ever made. It's making its way into my top 5. My favorite Criterion release of the year so far.

Andre, I haven't seen Pulp Fiction in years so thanks for straightening this out.

Quite a dark and rainy day! Earlier I decided to watch Jules and Jim for the third time all in the same week. My goodness. Where have I been for 37 years? The film is so monstrously great! Jules and Jim are exactly my kind of guys - intelligent, bohemian, sensitive, handsome. I can see myself hanging out with them everyday so watching the film again is like revisiting old friends. What can I say about the beautiful, engimatic Catherine? I can't remember the last time I was this powerfully consumed by a single character like her. She simply refuses to quit following me everywhere like a ghost.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:45 pm 
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Michael wrote:
Quite a dark and rainy day! Earlier I decided to watch Jules and Jim for the third time all in the same week.

I enjoy reading about your enthusiasm. It affected me the same way when I first saw it 15 years ago. It's the film that made me a cinephile. Unfortunately, it no longer affects me the same away. I probably saw it too many times and that kind of passion can't last forever. However, it will always remain my "first love."


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:18 am 
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Quote:
I actually prefer Two English Girls to Jules and Jim

Langlois68, can you please elaborate a bit more on Two English Girls? How is it superior to Jules and Jim? Right now I just can't imagine anything by Truffaut that is better than Jules and Jim (even though I have an absolute love and fondness for his "children" films, 400 Blows and Small Change). The booklet that comes with the disc discusses a bit about Two English Girls and how that title is based on the novel written by the same guy who wrote Jules and Jim. How much of that film is spoken in English?

Anyway, that same booklet also contains Pauline Kael's glowing review of Jules and Jim .


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:52 am 
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I guess it's the auteurist in me. Jules and Jim is an anomaly in Truffaut's body of work. After making this film and Shoot the Piano Player, he abandoned the dazzling stylistic expressiveness that was so attractive for more internalized character studies. Truffaut's the only director I can think of whose masterpiece made him so misunderstood. Don't get me wrong, I love Jules and Jim and Shoot the Piano Player, but the roiling intensity that lies beneath the tightly controlled surfaces of such films like The 400 Blows, Stolen Kisses, Bed and Board, Two English Girls, The Story of Adele H., and The Woman Next Door marks what I think is Truffaut's greatest and most unique contribution to cinema.

Some of the dialogue is in English, but most is in French.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:53 pm 
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Langlois68, I respect all your opinions however I don't understand one thing.

Are you saying that Jules and Jim fails to fall in the same league as Stolen Kisses, Two English Girls, and The Woman Next Door (to name a few of your choices) simply because of its "dazzling stylistic expressiveness"? I still have approx. five Truffaut films left to watch however so far I find Jules and Jim the most unique. Maybe it's because I had seen it so recently and it remains so fresh in my mind. Maybe you don't think Jules and Jim isn't as tightly controlled as other Truffaut films but I think that's a good thing. The characters in Jules and Jim are free-spirited at heart and the spontaneous, fun. fast style that Truffaut created for this film is perfectly fitting.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:37 am 
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Michael wrote:
Are you saying that Jules and Jim fails to fall in the same league as Stolen Kisses, Two English Girls, and The Woman Next Door (to name a few of your choices) simply because of its "dazzling stylistic expressiveness"?

I don't mean that Jules and Jim doesn't belong in the same league in terms of quality, but that the other films I mentioned are more indicative of Truffaut's style. Jules and Jim is undoubtededly one of the great films, but is not very representative of what kind of director he was.

Michael wrote:
Maybe you don't think Jules and Jim isn't as tightly controlled as other Truffaut films but I think that's a good thing. The characters in Jules and Jim are free-spirited at heart and the spontaneous, fun. fast style that Truffaut created for this film is perfectly fitting.

I agree completely. Truffaut could not have created this story more perfectly.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:03 am 
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Langlois68, don't you sometimes find that the piece of work you most enjoy by an artist is one that stands out from the rest of their oeuvre? You appreciate what makes their work resonate for/within you (emotionally, artistically, etc), but find that such an anomaly displays other facets, which in light of their other efforts, expresses greater depths, or at least otherwise unexposed insights/interests.

I know this was often the case for me with many of my favorite bands growing up. For my money, "I Want You Around" from Rock'n'Roll High School remains the apex of The Ramones career, and in the case of Truffaut, The Soft Skin is amongst my top picks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:21 am 
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I don't own the Fox Lorber DVD of Jules and Jim but from what I was told, it contains a feature called A Tribute to Jeanne Moreau and also that it needs to be seen to fully appreciate Jules and Jim (not that I need any extra help but I want to learn more about that amazing actress and her experience with this particular film). I've not gone through the Criterion extras yet but I'm wondering if that little feature is anywhere to be found on the Criterion disc.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:47 am 
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You don't need to see that so-called 'tribute', Michael. It starts with Moreau's cameo in the 400 Blows and it's kind of a 'music video' of 'The Whirlpool of Days', a montage of scenes from Jule et Jim with Moreau in it (mainly close-ups) with the song playing through.

Any film student can do a better bang-up job than that. Will be very surprised if Criterion ported that over. :P

(Slightly OT, but I'm having a mental block and can't remember which film borrowed the shot of Catherine's silhouette in the dark and red-circles the fly on the window? Is it Vanilla Sky?)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:04 am 
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Michael wrote:
... but from what I was told, it contains a feature called A Tribute to Jeanne Moreau and also that it needs to be seen to fully appreciate Jules and Jim

Listen to editman, and add a grain of salt to the advice you're receiving from that source. The feature is nothing more than a montage of footage. It's enjoyable for what it is, but far from necessary or essential.

editman wrote:
which film borrowed the shot of Catherine's silhouette in the dark and red-circles the fly on the window? Is it Vanilla Sky?

I don't think it's Vanilla Sky (man, does that one feel like an insincere movie), though Crowe does stick a gigantic poster of Jules and Jim in one scene in an office.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:01 am 

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Quote:
which film borrowed the shot of Catherine's silhouette in the dark and red-circles the fly on the window? Is it Vanilla Sky?

It's Amelie isn't it?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:06 am 
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Yes it's Amelie.


Ok I will not bother tracking down the Fox Lorber's "tribute", thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:48 am 

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cinephrenic wrote:
Annette Insdorf, Professor of Film in the School of the Arts at Columbia University, discusses Francois Truffaut's classic 1962 film Jules and Jim (Jules et Jim):

http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/SE


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:17 pm 
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Like I wrote earlier, Catherine is one of the most unsettling characters ever created for cinema. Since watching the film for the first time, I keep thinking constantly (certainly 24/7!) about her and the film's dreamy, surreal beauty casts such a powerful spell on me. I think I'm going crazy!

I love how Truffaut keeps her to remain engimatic throughout.. You're left wondering who she is and why she gets that way. Is she mentally ill? Or simply heartbroken? It's a great thing that he never brings a psychologist or psychiatrist into the picture to solve the mystery of Catherine, like the finale of Psycho. Truffaut simply shows that life is more than just an explanation for everything.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:24 pm 
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Michael wrote:
I love how Truffaut keeps her to remain engimatic throughout.. You're left wondering who she is and why she gets that way. Is she mentally ill? Or simply heartbroken? It's a great thing that he never brings a psychologist or psychiatrist into the picture to solve the mystery of Catherine, like the finale of Psycho. Truffaut simply shows that life is more than just an explanation for everything.

Michael, you know I always enjoy your enthusiasm about films, but for lack of a better term - huh?

Catherine and Norman Bates are two entirely different characters in two entirely different films. Norman Bates is a character in a thriller where a psychotic mother is killing sexually powerful females who threaten the bond between her and her son. Norman's condition is explained because it is obviously a form of psychosis that has caused Bates to take extreme actions. Bates is running around in a wig and a dress wielding a knife, so its fairly apparent to the audience that something is seriously wrong with him. The forensic psychiatrist at the end of Psycho may be unnecessary when it seems so clear that Norman has become lost in his neurosis, but the norms of the thriller genre rely on the fact that the absurdity of the crimes be given a cause, since the genre is built upon investigation and explanation of the crimes involved. Even if the psychiatrist is not allowed his monologue, the reveal of Bates in his mother's wardrobe serves as the audience's explanation.

Even if Catherine is psychotic, the explanation of her mental-illness would not serve a function to Truffaut's film. She remains an enigma because the film deals in relationships and love, not an investigation of a car accident. As far as we know her actions are caused because of the relationship she has between these two men, and everything that precedes the accident is our explanation of her actions. There is also no obvious mental-illness that the audience must grapple with.

While viewers may wonder why Catherine takes such an extreme action, believing she is mentally ill is a personal assumption and interpretation. Implying that Truffaut understands life better than Hitchcock because he doesn't include a monologue from a psychiatrist that explains Catherine's actions doesn't sound very reasonable. It's almost like saying the Coens understand creativity better than Jonze and Kaufman because they don't include a car-crash that kills off a twin brother in Barton Fink, or that Altman understands filmmaking better than Fellini because he doesn't include a all-cast dance around a rocket in The Player.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 3:12 pm 
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ben d banana wrote:
don't you sometimes find that the piece of work you most enjoy by an artist is one that stands out from the rest of their oeuvre?

It depends on how much I like the director. I prefer bodies of work to one-offs regarding directors I really admire. As for directors I don't admire so much: My favorite Herzog is Land of Silence and Darkness. My favorite Wenders is Paris, Texas. My favorite Cohen Bros is Miller's Crossing. My favorite Bergman is Fanny and Alexander. These are all favorites of mine, though they don't represent their director's oeuvre.


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