Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Paris, France


Have been in Paris for a couple of days. One of the many reasons I like Paris more than any other city in the world is the overwhelming abundance of cinemas, films, retrospectives and festivals that are on offer, every single day. During my five days this time I had to choose between a Woody Allen retrospective, two Michael Mann retros, one Douglas Sirk retro, another one on Robert Ryan. There was one celebrating Vittorio de Sica, and another for young Russian cinema. And so on and so forth. It's easy to get out of control. They also have many films released on DVD which you will not find anywhere else, such as early Richard Fleischer films. Among them Child of Divorce (1946), Follow Me Lightly (1949, written by Anthony Mann who also co-directed) and Armored Car Robbery (1950). I've long had a soft spot for Fleischer and I will enjoy watching them. His The Narrow Margin (1952) is a brilliant little film and The Boston Strangler (1968) is extraordinary as well. Anyway. More on Fleischer to come.

Another thing about Paris is that it makes me feel closer to Truffaut. And, as usual, I went to visit his grave.

When I wrote about Le Trou the other week I said it made me want to watch Casque d'or (1952) again. Well, now I have. It was so much much better than I remembered it. It must rate as one of the best films I've ever seen. It's done so lightly and tenderly, with a poetic grace, and yet the story is so cruel and tragic. Both the writing and directing of Becker is outstanding, as are many of the performances. Magic!

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