Sunday, October 16, 2011

That Total Film 1964 - 1966 • "32 Days of Movies" Day 16


The sixteenth chapter in "32 Days of Movies", an audiovisual tour through 366 films.
(2015 update: included Vimeo embed after the jump)



That Total Film

The films in today's chapter form an entity thrilling, melancholy, beautiful, and tragic - the end of a beginning and the beginning of an end. When asked to write about Fists in the Pocket forty years later, Jean-Pierre Gorin noted ruefully, "every scene ... with the convulsive beauty of its framing and composition, amply proves how much this period was made by people so steeped in classical culture that they fantasized it could be solid beyond its fragility, shaking it to the core and ultimately ushering in a world they could themselves hardly live in." Oh, you can see that all over the place today, in a chapter that - not accidentally - finds itself exactly halfway through the series, to the point where the closing clip is even divided in two, to be concluded tomorrow.


This is where the energy that has been building for four chapters reaches its simmering point and, with a literal bang, explodes, to spill out into colorful, violent, sexy, loud, raw cinema in the next chapter. It's an exciting moment but, colored by the expression of disappointment which comes just before, also sad. Nothing would ever be the same again, and if a sense of infinite possibility and limitless range filled the air, that poignant, almost naive sense of longing - for the "total film," the film that could encompass everything - died with the explosion of cinema into something which could not be contained. But for now there is only the giddy, uncanny sensation of that explosion into outer space. Is the world becoming a dream, or the dream becoming the world?

I have covered today's films here, here, here, herehere, and here.




Yesterday: Tuning In


Visit the Video Gallery for a complete list of the chapters so far.

4 comments:

Sam Juliano said...

A delightful trip down Memory Lane that includes one of my favorite films of all-time (Bresson's AU HASARD BALTHAZAR) and what may well be Bergman's masterpiece (PERSONA) another film that must place high on any all-time list. But the three Godards show your own veneration for his body of work, and I smikled when I saw the opening clip for BAND OF OUTSIDERS, which of course I recently saw with you and other friends at a a Manhattan revival house. You threw me for a bit of a loop with CHARLIE BROWN, but one must not underestimate that character's influence on the culture. LOVES and JULIET of course are briiliant, and you made the best case I've ever read for the fascination in FISTS IN THE POCKET.

A towering line-up.

Joel Bocko said...

Ha, good old Charlie Brown. He is a bit of the odd man out this chapter, but isn't he always? ;)

Shubhajit said...

Wonderful collection of revered arthouse classics. Here's what I've seen.

Band of Outsiders - one of my favourite Godard films.

Loves of a Blonde - delightful comedy from Forman. It was sad that he had to leave Czech Rep after his Firemen's Ball, which ranks as one of my favourite films.

Persona - complex and masterful, as always, from Bergman.

Masculin Feminin - yet another irreverent & enjoyable Godard.

It was great listening Dylan doing the closings for you :)

Joel Bocko said...

In terms of the films themselves, this is probably my favorite collection out of any chapter. In particular, Band of Outsiders, Fists in the Pocket, Masculin Feminin, and Au Hasard Balthazar are personal favorites, with Persona and Loves of a Blonde not far behind.

Yes, the Dylan went nicely (he's in tomorrow's episode too, in the flesh!, as you've seen by now). My favorite part lately has been choosing the songs to go over all the title sequences, especially now that we're into my favorite musical period.