Jul 20, 2007

Fou for Film II

The French will see anything. From the most obscure auteur to The Transformers, and they will do so with an equal spirit of curiosity and passion. They will deconstruct Tarkovsky with the same seriousness they will afford the Transformers, God love 'em (the French, not the 'formers).
They gave Jerry Lewis and Mickey Rourke a medal each. I rest my case.
I visited the Cinematheque Francais today. It has a Museum of Cinema that is charming, horribly signalized and limited but great fun. But what they really care about is the films themselves. The programming is typical. They have an homage to Preston Sturges, a retrospective of Terence Fisher, a British purveyor of grade z gothic schlock, I believe, and a retrospective of a Brazilian filmmaker I have never heard of. There is room for everyone! And this is not counting what they show in repertory which is basically everything ever put on film.
They are also showing a very interesting, brainy exhibition of Magnum photographers and the films that influenced them. It is very interesting, and as opposed to what I usually see in the States, bracingly idiosyncratic and strong minded. But this is what astounds me, the Cinematheque being a cultural institute run with state money. They show a highly explicit erotic film as part of the exhibition. They put a tiny little warning sign before you go in saying that due to the strong nature of some images, they RECOMMEND that this film is not suitable for children. Understatement of the century, where I come from. I can't imagine any public institution in the US showing this kind of material, which by the way was quite thought provoking, and sexy, yes. I haven't made up my mind whether it is really classy porn or erotic art, but I am tilting towards the second.

No comments:

Post a Comment