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Jeanne Dielman


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#1 Max Jacoby

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 12:44 PM

I saw this film at the BFI yesterday. I've been wanting to see it for a long while already, because I've been hearing so much about it. Among other things it was a reference for Gus Van Sant's 'Elephant'.

The film shows the daily chores of this middle-aged house-wife in great detail. The film is very undramatic by design (excpet for the ending) as it shows her actions (cooking, making coffee, polishing shoes, shopping, waiting in the queue) in real time. The camera feels like this unwavering eye that observes her. All the shots are front-on and static and the actors move in and out of shot. It feels like it was mostly shot with one lens as well. Bresson was definitely an influence on the acting, as the little dialogue that the actors have (especially the teenage son) is delivered in this very neutral tone. It makes for a few surreal moments here and there. There was only one technical choice that left me a bit baffled: on quite a few shots the focus always stayed on the foreground, even when the actors moved into the depth of the space. This wasn't done for esthetical purposes it seems (the out of focus bits were never so soft that it became painterly), so I have no explanation why it was handled like that.

But all in all this was a film worth seeing, even though it was hard viewing and not everyone's taste.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 12:49 PM

A change from all the comic-book, CGI-laden, Hollywood action movies that you prefer seeing, Max? ;)

The last sort of quiet, low-key domestic drama I watched was Ozu's "Late Sping" a few months ago, which was beautiful. Last really crappy Hollywood movie I saw was "Ghost Rider" -- I'm not sure why I bothered except that a college friend wanted to catch up with me, so we decided to see something dumb together. I just had no idea that it was going to be that dumb...
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#3 Max Jacoby

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 12:57 PM

Hehe,

Yes David, I needed a small change of pace before I'm going to see '300' tomorrow. ;)
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