Clubland: Le Samourai

I’ll say more about my thoughts on the film later, but I thought I’d just get things rolling with a couple of topics/questions.

1. I find Melville’s film to be devastatingly emotional, beneath the laconic dialogue and cool surfaces (or should I say, “because of?”). Do genre films–or let’s say films within genres that work as a kind of apotheosis of the genre–pack more of a punch emotionally because they are playing on a set of expectations? In other words, is the constraint of genre really a kind of freedom?

2. I particularly like the way the film quietly explodes the idea of a stoic masculinity–actions are not expressions of a philosophy where gesture supplants internal life, but messages from a vast unknown territory. Of course, I am a bit taken aback when I read that Melville describes his protagonist Costello as a “psychopath.” Do you agree? If so, the film might be part of the discussion with Straw Dogs and White.
Continue reading Clubland: Le Samourai

clubland: white

i have not yet seen the extras but i’m eager to write on this, so i’ll pitch a few ideas. idea no. one: is this a comedy? what makes something a comedy? i’m sure there are people on this blog who are way more qualified than i to discuss the necessary requirements of comedy, but it was hard for me the first time around, ten years ago, and it is hard for me now to see this film as a comedy. there is no laughter. there is, instead, a lot of heartbreak. surely, though, laughter cannot be considered a necessary requirement for comedy, because laughter is so subjective and culture-dependent. simon’s suggestion is that this is a comedy because karol is a schlemiel, and since this sounds interesting to me, i’ll go with it a bit. Continue reading clubland: white

Clubland: Black Narcissus

So, many of us wanted to see a film at something closer to the same time, to get a collective discussion together. I chose Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Narcissus to start us off, and therefore I pitch at you a few, by-no-means-inclusive reactions and readings, intended merely as jumpstart: Continue reading Clubland: Black Narcissus