Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:17 pm
Re: 42 Jules et Jim 1961
I have to say, this is one of the better love stories that I have ever seen. It's about that ideal girl that all men have in their minds, the quirky, unpredictable, sexy girl. The one that got away. But is ideal the same as practical and realistic? That is what this film sets out to discover.
To answer your question, Rob, I don't think that Catherine is much of a character at all; I think she is more of an idea. The movie is about how this idea affects the men in the film individually.
Most of the film is fairly light and quirky, with some deep serious moments. And then suddenly, like Rob pointed out, there is a sequence that just blows you away. I sat there with my mouth open, saying to myself, "Holy shit, what just happened?"
The film editing and cinematography were very similar to Jean-Luc Godard. After doing research, I found out that this makes sense, because Godard lent Truffaut all of the filming equipment and his cinematographer. But don't be discouraged by this, it's not weird WTF Godard, it more reminded me of Breathless. The editing is very similar. The aspect ratio was interesting, because for most of the film it was in 2.35:1, and then some portions switched to 4:3, and others were somewhere in between. There's some good stuff here.
I'm going to see 400 Blows next, so we'll see if Truffaut is just as entertaining and effective there as well.
Great stop, good date movie, very small, not arrogant, pretentious, or self absorbed. The ending will stun you.
Re: 42 Jules et Jim
This was totally different to what I was expecting to see. Often being surprised is a good thing, but this is the rare case where it might have put me off. The start does a fairly good job of introducing us to Jules and Jim. We get to know how each of them react, especially towards women. However, I think there's too much dallying here. The plot could have moved forward to them meeting Catherine sooner. Sure, that would have meant cutting some character development, but Truffaut uses the narrator to move the story forward throughout, so I don't see why it couldn't have been done here. Also, I didn't realise that Catherine was important until some time in. We get introduced to several characters who more or less disappear on a whim (the girl who smokes like a train) so I thought the same would happen with her. The only tip was that her face was identical to the statue, but that's hardly a great hint.
Not a great fan of the end either. I'm not sure if Truffaut was too slavish to the book, but I saw no need to carry the story over so many years. And, I'm surprised that people were surprised by Catherine driving her car into the ditch. She tries to kill Jim with a gun when she lasts sees him. Inviting Jim to go for a drive and telling her husband "Watch them" was a clear sign. I obviously didn't know that there was a broken bridge nearby, but I was sure that she's crash the car.
With all this complaining you'd think I didn't like the movie. Not true. There's a large piece in the middle where all of them live together in Austria that is completely perfect. I won't be able to point what I liked in as much detail as to say what I disliked, but know this: the Austrian section was so damn good that the rest of the movie could have been an image of dog shit drying and it would not have mattered. I'd still give this a good rating.
It's the little actions between them while they're living there. The way Catherine moves from one man to the next. An outsider even benefits. There are others we don't see. And yet, the men stay with her. She is their ideal and they're so in love they can't quit her. Especially Jules. He is so weakened that he is content just to live in her presence, even if she's intimate with someone else. Damn.
The whole thing averages to about an 8/10 to me. That middle section? Does this thing go to 11?