Archive for Bruno Cremer

Man Down

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on September 17, 2019 by dcairns

A short but dazzling and moving clip from Costa-Gavras’ seriously underrated second film, the wartime epic UN HOMME DE TROP, which will be the subject of Thursday’s edition of The Forgotten.

The movie, an action thriller, is in a way a kind of path not taken for Costa-Gavras. It underperformed and he followed it with Z, which diverts the thriller form into more obviously political directions, and this became the filmmaker’s metier, with the occasional odd diversion like the haunting CLAIR DE FEMME, which also deserves more attention.

This scene combines deliberately mismatched angles, stylised sound design and exponential zooms to create a feverish, haunting atmosphere.

I am honestly mystified why anyone would be interested in WHERE EAGLES DARE (Geoff Dyer has a whole book about it — what a loser!) when they could have this, which is MUCH more exciting and action-packed, but also includes sequences like the above.

Just kidding about Geoff Dyer,

Timehorse

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on August 31, 2015 by dcairns

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LE TEMPS DE MOURIR (1970) is one I started for Seventies Sci-Fi week but didn’t finish quickly enough. Despite some shaky direction — first timer Andre Farwagi hadn’t learned the 180º rule yet — I was sufficiently intrigued by the basic plot premise to finish watching, and was reasonably glad I did.

Anna Karina starts the movie by riding her horse into a tree, She’s rescued by millionaire Bruno Cremer, who is startled to discover in her possession a video recorder showing him being shot by a man he doesn’t know (but we know him: it’s Jean Rochefort!). Both Karina, who has total amnesia of the kind only available in sensational fiction, and the tape appear to have come from the future. With the aid of bodyguard Billy Kearns (one of the detectives in Welles’ THE TRIAL, speaking execrable French), Cremer tries to find out why a total stranger is apparently going to kill him on camera.

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What nobody, including the writers, explore, is how Karina time-traveled back from the end of the film to the beginning. She’s a one-woman Moebius strip, apparently existing only in this temporal loop, her memory erasing itself as her life circles eternally round. This is actually the film’s most intriguing element, and it’s left to the audience to explore it after the story is over. Nobody in the movie gets a chance.

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Is Anna Karina’s horse a time machine?

I was very taken with Cremer’s home computer, a tinted plastic face, illuminated from behind, set into the wall. I would like a computer like that.

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Farwagi’s career has been quite sporadic. His next production was in 1978, a sexy girl school romp with Nastassja Kinski, LEIDENSCHAFTLICHE BLUMCHEN, which I watched on late-night TV as a teenager in hopes of nudity. I was not disappointed: Farwagi opens the film with a zoom out from a close-up of a tit. Probably influenced by Kubrick.