HarryTuttle's Spontaneous Impressions - J
J'irai Cracher Sur Vos Tombes
The Jackal

Je t'aime, je t'aime
Jing zhe / The Story Of Ermei

Le Jour Se Lève
Junk Mail
The Junk Shop

> CRIT <J'irai Cracher Sur Vos Tombes
1959 - Michel GAST - France

I Spit on Your Grave
Another flop upon release, re-distributed in 2004, adaptated from the novel of Boris Vian (my favorite author!). Touching on racism in the southern states, through the revenge of a light-skinned african-american who pretends to be white, both the novel (written under a pen-name) and the film made a scandal at the time. The film has everything of a B-movie (with a gorgeous B&W photography though), but the original atmosphere developped by Vian is exceptionnal. As Vernon Sullivan, Boris Vian wrote a few pseudo-american crime books, pretending he was only the french translator. Guns, Chicks and Jazz sums up the subversive/dissolute/noirish lives of his characters in countryside America. Stereotypical and romanticized in a noirish way, it depicts an ideal, for the best and the worst, of a typical era, like the westerns for the pre-WW2 Jazz years.
Either the books or this gem of a film are recommended. I'd like to know how americans react to Boris Vian's vision.


> CRIT <The Jackal
1997 - Michael CATON-JONES - USA

needless to say the 1997 hollywood remake was terrible! all in over-the-top Rambo-Terminator-like actions. Richard Gere was crap unsurprisingly. Bruce Willis was himself, no more, no less. the film purpose was totally lost, focusing on special effects, the internet track, all mighty world wide mafia connections, big money equipment... and the main concern was to paint and remove the paint on a car in 30 sec! yay.
one thing i liked was the instant-death spray bomb, that Bruce sprayed on his car trunk handle to get rid of an agent who wanted to check what was in it while he was gone, the guy feels something wrong under his fingers, instinctively move his fingers to his nose the smell it and chokes on it like if it was a dreadful chemical warefare agent


> CRIT < Japón
2002 - Carlos REYGADAS - Mexico

languid lonesome promenade to nowhere. a silent meeting with Death in the isolated wilderness of a mountainous village atop of mexican countryside. nothing about japon! at all lol. metaphysical tale about vanity and ground-level aspects of the human being. quite weird, slowish, be warned.


> CRIT < Je t'aime, je t'aime
1968 - Alain RESNAIS - France

An experimental movie about the evolution of Love, Fantasy, hopes and Desir in the meloncolic past of intellectual memories. this is a masterpiece of editing!!!
a man survives a suicide and is chosen to be part of a secret scientific time travel experiment. after mice tests, this will be the first time a man will be sent to live 1 min of his life, 1 year ago. this man (an excellent Claude Rich), is gloomy, done with his life, and has issues with his past. we explore flashes of his life, through time travel jumps, with a surprising clarity. this is a visual investigation, only the pictures themselves and apparently unrelated dialogs tell us where and when we are. was he really in love? why did he abandon her? why is she sad? what went wrong? at what moment this relationship started to become a lie?
a metaphysical wandering about fate, love and the reality of our memories.

La Jetée meets Le Mépris/Contempt. more connection with Mulholland Drive and Cet Obscur Objet du Désir.


> CRIT <Jellyfish
2003 - Kiyoshi KUROSAWA - Japan

2 young guys working in a laundry factory, have awkward metaphysical doubts... (are they simple minded? or just stray dogs?) trying hard to fit in society, while taming an inner violence.
one has a lethal red jellyfish pet in a tank, and patiently adapt it to fresh water by lowering the salt level. after an unexplainable (undeveloped) murder he gets in jail and expect for his death penalty. the other boy (even more lost than the first one) is put in charge of the jellyfish, but get mad at him and get rid of the jellyfish, which will soon make a comeback...
disappointing new film from the director of Kairo, Cure and Charisma (i havent seen these last 2 yet) because there is no screenplay development and the dialogs are so unnatural and too obviously a substitute for narrative support. clumsy even amateurish mise en scene.
same problems with Kairo... he makes beautiful photography (a textured treatment of DV images with slightly desaturated colors), and a colorful set design, but he needs to hire a proper screenwriter! this guy has good directing potential but gotta realize he cant write a story.
beautiful CGI special effects perfectly integrated under water reflections!


> CRIT <Jing zhe / The Story Of Ermei
2004 - Quanan WANG - China

Faithful to the neo-realist description of rural life in China (like in Blind shaft), this film shows the struggle of a girl in a conservative patriarcal society with arranged marriage and the heavy rural community of traditional values. In northern China, Ermei, this young woman in age to marry, refuses to submit to her parents plans to literraly sold her to the older rish farmer of the region. Her grand father is dying and the family can't afford to pay a decent coffin which causes a scandal. She runs away to the city where her cousin has accomodated to the perversions of the modern urban life, with its freedom and immorality. This naive uneducated country girl with dreams of emancipation will be deceived by her illusions.
Jing Zhe is the name of the third part of spring on the ancient chinese calendar that splits the year in 24 solar sections. This period is the end of hibernation, when the first thunder awake lethargic lives. The symbol expands in the films as this woman will be the unexpected key to this world ran by wimpish men terrified by their superiors, be it in the social class, the legal authority or the mafia mob. Ermei will be the best "man" through a succession of hardship affecting her family.
The objective and minimalist narration portrays a crude, barenaked truth of these people's life, between the hog sacrifice to the child delivery, a patient observation of the rural condition through powerful scenes, but lacking in punch and substance somehow. Quite enjoybale nonetheless.


> CRIT <Le Jour Se Lève
1939 - Marcel Carné - France

Gabin is great as usual, served by Prevert smart dialogue, in the role of a desperate man who kills someone in the opening sequence before being cornered in his room under the roof. Waiting for the police to laungh the final assault at dawn, we'll see the successive flashbacks of earlier days that led him to commit this crime. The story is quite a messy melo, yet finely directed, the long disolving transitions through time enhance such form.


> CRIT <Junk Mail
1997 - Pål SLETAUNE - Norway

a pervert mailman in Oslo, read letters before posting them... he sneaks in a girl's apartment, falls in love and stalk her, but she has a very troubled life.


> CRIT <The Junk Shop
1965 - Juraj HERZ - Czech

Short film B&W
Excellent flow of a few colorful performances : the junk shop owner, who is interested in art and poetry, the toothless simpleton handyman who has a very personal philosophy of life, liar and facecious, and a serie of people bringing used paper to the shop against lottery tickets.