Noth­ing to about

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images - James M. Keller The New Mex­i­can

IGuy and Made­line on a Park Bench, mu­si­cal­dra­matic homage, not rated, CCA Cine­math­eque, 1 chile Guy and Made­line: Where have we met them be­fore? Mais, bien sûr, in Les para­pluies de Cher­bourg (The Um­brel­las of Cher­bourg), Jac­ques Demy’s 1964 film about lovers sort­ing out to whom they should be ro­man­ti­cally and emo­tion­ally at­tached, a film no­table for its con­tin­u­ously sung score that turns it into a sort of cin­e­matic opera. Guy and Madeleine (as Demy spelled it, us­ing the stan­dard French or­thog­ra­phy) end up hap­pily mar­ried, it seems, hav­ing trav­eled along a path of con­sid­er­able char­ac­ter devel­op­ment, both singly and as a cou­ple, all to the ac­com­pa­ni­ment of en­chant­ing, through-com­posed mu­sic by Michel Le­grand.

View­ers are ad­vised not to re­visit Les para­pluies de Cher­bourg be­fore they see Damien Chazelle’s Guy and Made­line on a Park Bench, which can only dis­ap­point in com­par­i­son. They should sim­i­larly steer clear of all other French New Wave au­teurs: no Truffaut, no Go­dard, no Rohmer. No Cas­savetes, ei­ther — he who ex­posed the mo­men­tous rev­e­la­tions en­cap­su­lated in the in­ti­macy of the quo­tid­ian. They all ren­der Chazelle’s new film un­nec­es­sary and high­light its des­per­ate weak­nesses.

One is not sur­prised to learn that Guy and Made­line be­gan as a the­sis at Har­vard. Many stu­dent film­mak­ers are cap­ti­vated by the es­sen­tial au­teurs, as well they should be. It’s good to learn from clas­sic mod­els, but a young filmmaker who crafts a work of such overt trib­ute as Chazelle does here might con­sider whether much homage is truly con­veyed by a thin layer of mimicry sprayed over some­thing that is at heart in­sub­stan­tial.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.