1001 Flicks

Regularly updated blog charting the most important films of the last 104 years.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

375. Jules et Jim (Jules and Jim) (1961)

Directed By Fran├žois Truffaut


Fickle lady likes to fuck around. Jules, her husband, is what we in Portugal call a "corno-manso" (tame-horn). Jim, his best friend, eventually joins in the fun. She goes a bit obsessed, and turns to psycho bitch killing herself and Jim, leaving her husband to take care of her daughter.


When looking at French new wave there are two giants who rear their heads, Godard and Truffaut. In my opinion, however, Truffaut is vastly superior, not only in the way he uses film-making techniques but simply because he has a heart.

Truffaut is a deeply human director, while Godard isn't, Truffaut can create images and situations which resound with the spectator in a way Godard simply cannot. Jules et Jim, even if it is at moments an annoying film (Jeanne Moreau's character is a bit detestable), is a film shot through with moments of great beauty.

In a way the film contrasts the purity of the almost homoerotic relationship of the two title characters with the destructive influence of the female coming in from the outside. In a sense it is as misogynist as Godard but he makes beauty while doing it. Also his visual techniques, use of panning, archive footage, dissolves etc. is pretty innovative interesting and keeps your attention throughout.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

One of the seminal products of the French New Wave, Jules and Jim is an inventive encyclopedia of the language of cinema that incorporates newsreel footage, photographic stills, freeze frames, panning shots, wipes, masking, dolly shots, and voiceover narration (by Michel Subor). Truffaut's cinematographer was Raoul Coutard, a frequent collaborator with Jean-Luc Godard, who employed the latest lightweight cameras to create an extremely fluid and distinctive film style. For example, some of the postwar scenes were shot using cameras mounted on bicycles.



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