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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 3:17 pm 
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Andre Jurieu wrote:
While viewers may wonder why Catherine takes such an extreme action, believing she is mentally ill is a personal assumption and interpretation.

Is it though? She's all bundled up like a person who's no longer comfortable outdoors (implying some sort of convalescent period), and if I remember correctly, Jules makes a comment to Jim about how she hasn't been doing well mentally. I can't remember his words exactly. I always assumed we were to take that she had had a nervous breakdown.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 3:28 pm 
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Of course Psycho and Jules and Jim are two entirely different films. No way I dare to compare Catherine to Norman Bates. I was just using that one scene with the psychiatrist as an example. In my opinion, it's the only flaw of Psycho. The psychiatrist comes in the picture and explains Norman's psychosis. To me, in a way I feel insulted as a viewer. I think the entire sequence with Marion's sister surveying Norman's bedroom and his mother's bedroom (all wordless) tells you everything you need to know about Norman and his mother and their relationship. If Psycho cut that psychiatrist scene and goes straight to Norman in the cell with the fly, whoa! that would have been so much unsettling and disturbing, forcing the viewers to figure out what is exactly wrong with Norman by reflecting on the entire film they had just seen. Instead of settling down with the words coming out of that psychiatrist's mouth. This is exactly why I think The Birds is better. For instance, how do you explain The Bird's ending? No one wins. All perfectly shown in that one powerful image without babbling away the explanation like we don't know anything.

Now about Catherine. I know that Jules and Jim is not about her but somehow she consumes the whole film. The film simply observes her but her magic, her aura infects the film so much that it leaves me wondering about her nonstop. Truffaut ends the film without really spelling anything out .. I mean, about Catherine's extreme action. Truffaut could go the easy way out by having somebody, maybe a doctor, telling Jules that Catherine had a bipolar disorder or something of that sort. Or Jules discovering Catherine's diary that explained everything away. But no he didn't do it. I love Truffaut for respecting, loving, trusting Catherine that so much.

I'm sorry that I can't really expand that much ...my mind has been unbearably overloaded with school assignments and watching Jules and Jim - a revelation! - recently didn't help.

Quote:
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.

I truly regret for not making this clear earlier. Never my intention, never my thought. I just feel that Truffaut captures the mystery of life so beautifully, poetically in Jules and Jim and I do feel the same way with Hitchcock's Vertigo. When I first saw Vertigo a decade ago, I was absolutely obsessed with Madeleine/Judy... same thing that I'm going through right now with Catherine.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:28 pm 
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Even if the mental-illness is commented upon during the course of the film, I can't see very many viewers asking that the film to disclose the exact psychosis she is inflicted with and the exact causes of the psychosis. Most just except her reason to involve love.

The point I'm making is that the genre Hitchcock was working within seeks an explanation of actions, while the type of film Truffaut is making only requires that the relationships be explored, where the underlying explanation for any action is "love" and "desire". Hitchcock's much-maligned coda might be fairly clunky and forced, but it serves a purpose in telling the audience that the persona of Norman's mother remains strong and that the actual mother is dead after having broken the bond between herself and her son - which we probably would have difficulty inferring otherwise. There is much more of a burden upon Hitchcock to explain his character's actions due to the genre he is working in, and the fact that the shock that he himself created serves as a crucial point within the film. In Psycho the viewer wonders why Norman's mind suffers the schism, because it's so blatantly apparent that one occurred. In Jules and Jim, Catherine's symptoms are not as strong and she is nowhere near Norman's level of derangement. The viewer has a much easier time identifying with her situation, while Norman's is fairly extreme, especially for the time of the film.

I enjoy an ambiguous ending as much as the next person, but to say that ambiguous endings are always preferable or that Truffaut understands life isn't just an explanation for everything and that Hitchcock doesn't understand this point, simply because Truffaut doesn't include some ridiculously tacked on ending to explain his characters actions seems rather reductive in itself. Ambiguous endings themselves don't necessarily imply very much understanding of life, and assuming events in life have no concrete explanations is also just as troubling as saying every event in life has an explanation.

Also, the very end of Psycho with Mrs. Bates taking control of Norman's psyche is itself fairly ambiguous as to who had control over Norman during the course of the events depicted in the film. Are the assumptions and diagnosis the psychiatrist made the correct ones?

Jules and Jim is a great film, but to compliment Truffaut on something he doesn't include, that probably isn't even required or asked of him because it's a minor point within the film's framework, while complaining about a creative choice that was made by another artist under a different set of requirements, in a different type of film, where the explanation is for something insanely significant, just doesn't add up to me.

Also, don't start jumping on me for prolonging this point - Michael edited his answer while I was writing my reply, and it now addresses some of the stuff I wrote in this post.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:23 pm 
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Quote:
Are the assumptions and diagnosis the psychiatrist made the correct ones?

No way! But unfortunately most people (as far as I know in America) take the doctors' words to heart no matter what.

Andre, I understand what you're saying. It's never in my thought to compare Catherine to Norman or Jules and Jim to Psycho. And also to say that Hitchcock has no understanding of life. That's impossible! I should have done a better job explaining what I really meant. Blame it on Catherine for consuming every brain cell I have left.

I was just using that psychiatrist scene merely as an example. That scene, not the film Psycho as a whole, happened to pop up in my mind while I was writing. Even though I've read numerous good arguments showing why that scene is necessary and not a flaw. One of them explains that the psychiatrist's probing of Norman is one of the several forms/uses of "voyeurism" presented in Psycho. But I still have a problem with the scene! Damn me.

Now lets go back to Jules and Jim. I'm interested in learning more about the film and Jeanne Moreau's part in it. Can anyone suggest any good studies or write ups available on the net?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:50 am 
"Without obsession, life is nothing"
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FWIW, Hitch didn't really aprove of that whole doctor-explaining-scenes-at-the-end-of-the-movie thing. If my memory serves me right, it was more of a studio decision. On the other end, that kind of last minute explanation at the end has become almost a stapple of every slasher/thriller movie since.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:18 pm 
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Just got this email about the CC release of Jules and Jim:

[quote]I want to call your attention to a huge blunder on Criterion's “Jules and Jim. There is a sequence in which, incredibly, left and right are reversed. The reversal does not occur on the Fox/Lorber version. I will use the Criterion timings to describe the problem. Note when I say “leftâ€


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:09 pm 

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kieslowski_67 wrote:
And it was obvious from the first 5 minutes of the movie that Jules and Jim were true soulmates and meant for each other. As such, why bother for Catherine?

um, maybe they weren't gay.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:23 pm 
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just checked it out, since i have both editions and it was right. Made screencaps as well. Is this a problem Criterion acknowledged?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:10 pm 
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edgarnazaretian wrote:
just checked it out, since i have both editions and it was right. Made screencaps as well. Is this a problem Criterion acknowledged?


so where's the caps edgar?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:22 am 
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Fox Lorber
Image
Criterion
Image
Fox Lorber
Image
Criterion
Image
Fox Lorber
Image
Criterion
Image

I hope this helps. I tried to get each frame as close as possible to the other.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:28 am 
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That is astonishing!

Why would this happen? And the framing differences (apart from mirrored) are so different too... looking forward to an explanation for this mess. Thanks for posting the pics edgar.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:11 am 
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Hmm... this is really intriguing...

I just checked my R3 Panorama DVD of Jules et Jim (which I think uses the MK2 master?) and it has the same flippings as the Criterion.

I also checked the VHS I taped from the broadcast on SBS Television in 1995 (took me a while to dig up and find that tape), and to my disappointment it does not have the flippings, just like the Fox Lorber DVD.

So maybe it's MK2 who stuffed it up in the first place?

Darn, talk about bad timing (pun intended), my copy has just left the warehouse.

Now I bet the Criterion laserdisc does not have the flipping.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 7:02 am 
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The thing is, in my opinion, the Criterion is the reversed image.

Generally, men's clothes button up left over right, but on the last criterion image it is right over left, and unless clothes in that era were the opposite, I'd be right in thinking so.

Also, Moreau is (I think) wearing a watch on her right arm in the Criterion. Not sure which arm she wears it on for the rest of the film, haven't got it yet.

Somebody check these two points, and it may prove which is reversed.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 7:23 am 
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I'm finding the flipping on the Criterion, but not on a decent widescreen VHS recording from UK Channel 4 (early '90's), which is as the Fox Lorber, and preserves visio-spacial consistency... Also as noted the last shot of the sequence examined seems to be a different take altogether, in terms of tightness of framing and length of shot, in addition to the 'flip'...

I wonder if possibly the negative got damaged at this point, and in duping these shots off existing prints, the shots were accidentally flipped by the lab...

Strange too that Raoul Coutard supervised the transfer, and did not pick up on this...

It shows also how varying versions can get out of the same film... Certainly there are differences in my C4 VHS of TIREZ LE PIANISTE, and the MK2 DVD of the same... In this case I believe it was intentional to create a separate TV version, better suited to 4:3...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 10:57 am 
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Louis noted the specifics of these 'errors' in our review

Best,
Gary


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 11:10 am 
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Criterion's transfer has the problem, since it's inconsistent on the same DVD.

Catherine says something and the men look over to her, but the next shot she's looking back at them on the wrong side, and then we see the men flipped around looking at the other direction.

Also notice that Jules' hair is parted on the left and his buttons are also on the left - then they're both on the right.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 11:24 am 
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I don't know how individual shots like this could be messed with in the process of transfer, unless the grading was so detailed that each one was handled and set separately, and a 180 degree flip was inadvertently introduced in these few instances...

I still think it is likely to have arisen during repair of a short damaged section of the negative...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 12:29 pm 

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OT but related, I suppose: wasn't there a whole reel of "Lawrence of Arabia" that was in the original release prints in a similar reversed manner, which was only corrected for the "restoration" in the 90s?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:47 pm 
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Someone should email JM about this


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 4:32 am 
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so go on! email him...


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 6:27 am 

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Why don't you?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:59 am 
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Well I don't presume to know much about this. I don't know if I could articulate the problem properly. I figured I'd leave it to someone who knows more about the problem and the film, someone who was one of the original discoverers.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 6:58 am 

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Reported it as a problem this morning. Probably didn't need to as they read this forum, don't they?

Bit of a shame as they've been doing so well with their QA recently.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:57 pm 

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I got an e-mail back from Mulvaney about this over an hour ago;
My e-mail wrote:
I would be interested to know as to how the continuity error documented in the following weblink (http://www.criterionforum.org/forum/vie ... &start=100) came to be present in Criterion's oterwise wonderful edition of 'Jules et Jim'. Are there any plans to correct this error in subsequent pressings of 'Jules et Jim'?

Mulvaney's reply wrote:
Dear ???,

I have received a few emails regarding this issue and we are looking into
it. I'll get back to you as soon as as we get to the bottom of this.

best,
JM

I wait with bated breath...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:32 am 
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Looks like there will be a second printing soon...

How come I keep thinking "Adrien Brody" every time I look at the 3 men?[/img]


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