Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Louis Malle Volume Two

When I was browsing movie titles, the name Louis Malle came up. I had heard about this director and as I was reading reviews of his works, which got positive reviews, I knew that I had to watch at least one of them which called 'Au revoir les enfants'. So I chose this box set, volume 2 first. All 5 movies are beautiful to look at. The mother character in Au revoir les enfants and Le souffle au coeur is important, and made me notice the character in the other 3. 

1. Au revoir les enfants (1987)

This movie was the reason I bought this set and turns out to be the best among these 5. Stories about children in the time of WW2 are always interesting and in the hand of Louis Malle, the details, especially how they lived a that time, are amazing. The movie centers around Julien Quentin, who is the top of his class - a boarding school run by priests, until Jean Bonnet comes. Julien will find that the new boy is Jewish, hidden by the headmaster from the Nazis. Julien is sad to be away from his mother, but he later realizes that he is more fortunate than Jean. All child actors are very good and in the moving ending, we will weep along with Julien.

2. Black Moon (1975)
A weird movie, and I cannot get the message. It's set in the future when men are in a war against women. Lily, who tries to get away from the chaos, I guess, finds refuge in a big house. There lives a fat old lady who never leaves her bed, with her son - the gardener, her daughter -the farmer, and many naked children. In a strange scene, the daughter nourishes her mother and later we see Lily does the job. I could watch this movie to the end, because of its beautiful cinematography.

3. Lacombe Lucien (1974)
Lucien is a janitor in the beginning of the movie. He tries to join the Resistance, perhaps because someone says it's patriotic. When he is refused, he quickly changes side by joining the German police instead and rats on the local Resistance leader. Does he really in need to prove himself? He jumps at the first opportunity to betray his own people. While Joseph in Au revoir les enfants becomes a collaborator to revenge the school, Lucien wants to improve his life. It's clearly that a German police lives much better than a janitor. Life has its twist, though, because he falls in love with the daughter of a Jewish tailor. In the scene where Lucien tells his girlfriend not to stand in a queue, depicts well how he thinks that his present job makes him above his people. Again here, the mother- son relationship is good. Lucien wants to make his mother proud at first by trying to join the Resistance. After he betrayed his people, his mother still loves him and vice versa. Pierre Blaise played Lucien with much anger and we believe he has this cruelty inside him.

4. Le souffle au coeur (1971)

This one is about 15 year old Laurent and his teenage life. Like Julien in Au revoir les enfants, Laurent loves his mother, and among her 3 sons, Laurent is her most favourite. Laurent's relationship with his father is not good, that he asks her mother if he is really his father's son. "Why?" asks her mother. "Because I don't love him." While it's normal for Julien to miss his mother, it seems Laurent suffers oedipus complex. "You're my little husband," says his mother. When what is forbidden is done, can they really forget it easily? Just like that? However, it's better than dwelling in the past. Lea Massari, who played the mother, is very beautiful here, therefore it makes sense if Laurent loves her so much.

5. Milou en mai (1990)
Milou's mother is dead and the whole family come to the estate for the burial. She should have chosen a better day to die, because the student uprising in May 1968 in Paris, also affect the country. They cannot bury her in time because of the strike and when the rumors get worse, they have to flee the house and hide in the forest. The dialogues are witty, and we follow the grave situation by the radio. So grave it is, that the family members want to count and divide the inheritance right away, even before the burial. My favourite character is little Fran├žoise. She has a funny haircut and a great curiosity, always asks when she doesn't know. Milou's mother, although she is dead in the beginning, is the tool to unite the family. After the burial, they perhaps won't see each other again.

No comments: