Thursday, April 24, 2008

Two More from Truffaut

Mississippi Mermaid

Jean Paul Belmondo is stinking rich, running a tobacco farm on an island in the Indian ocean. Hard up, he mail-orders Catherine Deneuve, as you do, who is just ‘adorable’ as he keeps reminding her (at least she doesn’t go ‘I know!’ as most modern actresses would; Catherine appears melancholy with a touch of wonderment thus making her astronomically beautiful. Jean-Paul has no choice but to put her face on a cigarette packet). Turns out, she’s loony. They make a terrific pair. She thoroughly emasculates him, remarkable given his rarefied beefy studliness. Crimes are committed and a lovers on the run tale ensues with shades of Losey’s Gun Crazy and Hitchcock-cliches abound, as the movie shifts to Paris. It’s clunky as hell and the disjointed last act seems to have been written in one 12-hour bender where the writer, struck by an attack of the schmaltz, turns pure malevolence into a sentimental weepy that is almost as amusing as it is preposterous.

Jules et Jim

Man, bohemians are nuts. At least the irreprehensible characters didn’t die. Although the guitar troubadour lives and that guy was a slut!

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