Entries tagged with “Gerard Depardieu”.


The year is 2017, Camille Claudel is back in town and she seems to go through a revival and reevaluation of her work and short artistic career. A museum dedicated to her life and art opened in March in the small French town of Nogent-sur-Seine, and the museum includes many of the works that survived the agitated 20th century and the destruction by the artist’s own hands. Books are being written about her, and art history starts to take her seriously into account. Before this however, there were the films, and especially this one  Camille Claudel  from 1988. It is not exaggerated to say, I believe, that the film prepared her comeback to the world of arts.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094828/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094828/

 

Camille Claudel deals more with the character of Camille Claudel, her love story with Auguste Rodin, her relationship with her brother Paul, one of the important French poets of the first half of the 20th century than with her art. Actually one of the few critical observations one may have about the visual part of the film is that there is so little art in it, and from the film we cannot make to ourselves an idea about how good she was. We see an artist fighting with her material, we see a woman fighting prejudice in a world and at a time when women were far from being recognized as equal professionally to men, even less in arts. We see the young woman and artist falling under the fascination of her master and being torn between love and admiration for him, and the need to express herself, to be herself. We see her falling down the spiral of vanity and then madness, and it’s up to us to judge whether the roots of her fall are in the social environment, in the attitude of her lover who may be a great artist but is also a womanizer and small human being in terms of relations, or in her own vanity and narcissism. Add to this the ambiguity of the relationship to her brother, and we can now understand the willingly or not, the focus of the script and director was on her personal path rather than on her art.

 

(video source Diego Correa)

 

For this was the first film as director, but he already had in 1988 a long career as cinematographer, including a few superb films by . Not everything works or better said, not everything stood the almost 30 years since the film was made. is superb, beautiful and ambitious, a fighter but fragile at the same time, turn between love and vanity. This is one of her best roles. is very fit to Rodin’s role, at that time his physical qualities were also perfect and added to his huge talent. The cinematography of the film (signed by Pierre Lhomme ) is excellent, and there are many scenes to remember – in the studio where Rodin and Claudel are shown fighting with the material from which they extracted their works, and out in the nature with clear allusions to the period of the Impressionists when this film is set. On the other hand the soundtrack is horrible. The use of violin music which would have been exaggerated even for a melodrama made in 1938, it’s simply a disaster for this film about art and artists made in 1988. Add to this the poor quality of the sound (at least in the copy screened by ARTE TV) which makes half of the dialog incomprehensible even when it is not covered by violins. Maybe digital sound re-working will sometimes in the future save this film. It is highly deserved.

 

Bellamy (or Inspector Bellamy) is the final film in the career that spreads over half a century of director Claude Chabrol, a career started within the cinematic revolution of the French Nouvelle Vague at the end of the 50s in which Chabrol was one of the most influential names. Many of Chabrol’s first films were set in the society of the young students or lower class people in the France of the end of the 50s and of the 60s, in time he had broadened his breadth and dealt with a wider social range. This last film of his is set in the bourgeois society of the French province and while from a thematic point of view we find the combination of detective story combined with the psychological analysis which eventually discovers the real being of the characters under their apparent skins, from a stylistic point of view it’s a very settled, almost static work.

 

source http://articlepremium.net/business/inspector-bellamy-2009-download-movie-brrip1080p-quality/

source http://articlepremium.net/business/inspector-bellamy-2009-download-movie-brrip1080p-quality/

 

Much of the film relies on the presence of Gerard Depardieu for whom the role of the police inspector who cannot escape undertaking an investigation in private cop mode while on vacation seems to have been written for. Strange as it may seem Chabrol and Depardieu work together in Bellamy for the first time. I can however imagine that the director let the actor all the freedom to build his character, a combination of Poirot and Maigret at huge physical proportions, with a tenderness for the loving wife acted by Marie Bunel in a manner that makes us fall in love with her and become jealous on Bellamy/Depardieu by the end of the film, and a complicated relationship with his step brother (solid acting by Clovis Cornillac). I mentioned Maigret, and maybe I should also remind here another famous detective,  Columbo, as their wives represent a mythical but background, in many cases unseen, presence in the respective films and books. In Bellamy, the inspector’s wife is a real presence, and the family story will play an important role and give to the action and story a dimension that competes and even exceeds the detective story itself.

 

(video source moviemaniacsDE)

 

I have watched many times the French critics becoming more enthusiastic about American movies than their American counterparts (and audiences in many cases mirroring these feelings). Something similar seems to have happened with this film as well, as the critical reception in the US by critics as important as the late Roger Ebert, or the New York Time critic were very welcoming, while the French critics I read reproached the lack of suspense of the story and the theatrical approach. I would say that both – appreciative reviews and critics were right. Bellamy does look at many moments as TV theater with stiffness in dialogs and static camera work especially in the scenes filmed in the interior. There is however enough fine acting to support the gradual discovery of the characters and the situations to keep the interest awake, even beyond the fascination of watching another work on screen of Depardieu.  Claude Chabrol’s last film is a low tone Adieu, by a master who never stopped being fascinated by the endless games of disclosure and hiding of his characters.

 

‘Le Dernier Metro’ is one of the last films Truffaut made, and I believe was the last that premiered during his life time. His period of innovating and revolutionizing the French cinema, breaking conventions and pushing ahead a new way of making movies and a new style of passing the message from director (the undisputed author of the film) and the viewers was behind him. Now he had the time (and not less important the money) to make the films that expressed him best. It is significant that one of the themes he chose to deal with in this final period of his life and creation (although he may not have been aware it’s one of his final films) was the French Resistance and the Holocaust, more specifically the attitude of France and of the French people towards its Jewish population.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080610/

 

The film tells the story of a classical triangle of lovers in the best French tradition. He (Heinz Bennent) is a famous stage director, she (fabulous Catherine Deneuve) is a beautiful actress and has just taken over the administration of the theater, the rival to her heart is the womanizing young star (Gerard Depardieu in one of his first great roles). The times are however not usual, director Lucas Steiner hides in the cave of his own theater because the year is 1942 and he is a Jew, deprived of any civil right, deprived of his property, deprived of the right to profess his vocation, and soon to be deprived of the right to live. While his wife and one or two close friends stand to hide and defend him, the whole system of the collaboration is after his person, his family life, and his physical life. The forbidden love will eventually be consumed only after the duty of honor in protecting the prosecuted is fulfilled. The story saves the French honor by showing that some stood up, but also makes quite clear that those were only a few.

 

(video source DODprod)

 

Some of the critics consider this film not to be one of Truffaut’s best, they also point to the success it enjoyed (most successful of all his movies) and to the plethora of Cesar prizes it received. I respectfully differ. Success with the audiences is no sin, and if true emotion is passed to the viewers, if we viewers go out of the cinema hall and continue to care and think fondly about the characters then the movie in my view succeeded. There is a double love story between the woman and the two men in her life, but there is also another story of love and deep respect in this film – it is the love for theater, for the art that fought censorship during the war and kept alive the national pride and also the capability of getting together the audiences and making them resonate to human emotions and share hope. To some respect ‘Le Dernier Metro’ plays in Truffaut’s cinematography the same role as ‘The Pianist’ plays in Polanski‘s career – a work apart with an important message and a sober but elaborated execution.