jules and jim

June 11, 2009

“if i’d known she might still come, i’d have waited til midnight.”

welcome back.  the problem i have sometimes is when i sit down to actually watch a film, it feels more like work or schoolwork than it does a thing that i love to do.  i never thought that i’d reach this problem, but i think it’s especially prevalent with films like this.  films that i haven’t necessarily viewed for school, but fall under categories or time frames which i have studied.  and the french new wave is something that they don’t pass over in film school.

one of the best things about this film was just to see how heavily it influenced some of my favorite filmmakers today.  i can see a lot of what wes anderson does taken right out from jules and jim.  the rapid pans across to someone sitting in a chair, the use of the city’s architecture, i felt like i was watching wes anderson’s creation.  and i could’ve sworn that rian johnson does the subtitle to the spoken word just as it’s done in this film in the brother’s bloom (though i’m not positive).  and come to think of it, the opening of the brothers bloom sort of montage of them as kids is very similar to the opening of this film.  to see a film of such great influence was fun in and of itself.

and for the first half or so i was really with this film.  really with the characters, really with their sort of adventures, really with the relationship of jim and jules.  it made sense to me that these men were best friends.  they loved to discuss shakespeare and go to the theater and talk about art and poetry, they make a trip to an adriatic island just to see a sculpture (and they have the same white suit made).  i wanted to be friends with these guys.

but when the character of catherine enters, or more accurately, when jules and catherine marry and start to have problems, is when i start to have problems with the film.  maybe it’s just the way my mind works, maybe it’s my own beliefs or what have you.  but i cannot for the life of me understand why the characters do the things they do in the last hour or so of the movie.  seeing them flip flop on whether or not they love somebody, holding people at arms length, cheating on their spouse with their spouses best friend.  a lot of it really infuriated me and a lot of it is not something that i call “inspired” or would consider truffaut’s best.  maybe it’s just me, but i kept wondering why the characters were doing what they were doing, and could not get past their “stupid actions” (that quote is from me.).

i did however, find a lot to like about the look of the film.  i was taken aback by how in your face truffaut seemed to be about his camera movement.  he was all of the place in terms of movement, angles, and especially editing.  there were jump cuts galore in the film, and it really gave it an interesting feel.  i love that he was unafraid to buck the traditional system (as all new wavers were i suppose) and just through in cuts and movements where he wanted to.  that being said, i was fairly underwhelmed by the film.

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if there is anyone that still reads this blog, i am sorry (for many things).  i will make more of an effort to keep it updated.

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