Those Americans who are familiar with the name Claude Lanzmann most likely know him as the director of “Shoah,” his monumental 1985 documentary about the extermination of the European Jews in the Nazi gas chambers. As it turns out, though, the story of Lanzmann’s eventful life would have been well worth telling even if he had never come to direct “Shoah.” In addition to film director, Lanzmann’s roles have included those of journalist, editor, public intellectual, member of the French Resistance, long-term lover of Simone de Beauvoir and close friend of Jean-Paul Sartre, world traveler, political activist, ghostwriter for Jacques Cousteau — I could go on, but it’s a good deal more entertaining to hear Lanzmann himself go on, and thanks to the publication in English of his memoir, “The Patagonian Hare,” we now have the opportunity to do so. (previously)
posted by Trurl
on Apr 16, 2012 -
The French romantic thriller “Diva” dashes along with a pellmell gracefulness, and it doesn’t take long to see that the images and visual gags and homages all fit together and reverberate back and forth. It’s a glittering toy of a movie... This one is by a new director, Jean-Jacques Beineix... who understands the pleasures to be had from a picture that doesn’t take itself very seriously. Every shot seems designed to delight the audience.
- Pauline Kael, 1982 [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Sep 16, 2011 -
A family traveled to France and Germany in 1938 and shot this footage
which features two appearances by Adolf Hitler. It's creepy seeing this Nazi spectacle shot by an amateur. It's a perspective I don't know if I've ever seen. The video opens in France and the Nazi footage starts around 1:45.
The collector writes: "The Basement Collection presents: An 8mm film bought at an estate sale back in the 90's. This reel is part of a series of a family vacation movies to Europe in 1938. On this reel the family visits France and then Germany. The footage of Hitler is from a celebration in the Berlin Stadium on what I think is a May Day celebration (May 2, 1938) then another celebration at Berlin's Lustgarten. (on May 1st). (I think the reel was edited together out of order)."
posted by zzazazz
on Aug 12, 2010 -
He invented or popularized
a startling array of the fundamental elements of film: the dissolve, the fade-in and fade-out, slow motion, fast motion, stop motion, double exposures and multiple exposures, miniatures, the in-camera matte, time-lapse photography, color film (albeit hand-painted), artificial film lighting, production sketches and storyboards, and the whole idea of narrative film.
By 1897, in a studio of his own design and construction – the first complete movie studio – his hand forged virtually everything on his screen. Norman McLaren writes, "He was not only his own producer, ideas man, script writer, but he was his own set-builder, scene painter, choreographer, deviser of mechanical contrivances, special effects man, costume designer, model maker, actor, multiple actor, editor and distributor." Also, his own cinematographer, and the inventor of cameras to suit his special conceptions. Not even auteur directors such as Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick would personally author so many aspects of their films."
Inside: 57 films by Georges Méliès, the Grandfather of Visual Effects
. [more inside]
posted by Paragon
on Feb 3, 2010 -
French politicians polish cultural credentials. France's presidential hopefuls have begun pledging to defend the country's cherished culture, hoping to drum up support from artists worried that American films and music will steamroll finer French productions.
This rhetoric makes it sound like American films are picking up guns to massacre poor defenseless French culture. Maybe American films are so successful because they give people something that the "finer French productions" don't, and if so, then is that such a horrible thing? After all, we are just giving the people what they want, right? And if that takes money away from more artsy productions, then whose fault is that anyway?
posted by epimorph
on Apr 8, 2002 -
The movie censored in France opens in the US this week. Base-Moi
is being translated by the newspapers as "Rape Me" but a better translation would be "Fuck Me," which better indicates that sexual power that the main female characters have. They use sex as a weapon, as the gateway firearm to murders and massacre. Violent, bloody, aggressively sexual, even pornographic, filled with "chic amoralism," as the New York Times
says, and perhaps difficult to redeem. Gratuitous everything.
posted by Mo Nickels
on Jul 6, 2001 -