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ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS (Ascenseur pour l’échafaud) dir. by Louis Malle in 1957.

Sometimes, when the mood is right, the blues is just what we need.

In 1957, 24 year old Louis Malle submitted his notice to the world that cinema was changing. In Elevator to the Gallows, Malle lays the foundation for the French new wave while at the same time constructing a razor sharp narrative that is overwhelming in its romantic fatalism. Miles Davis, himself a budding jazz visionary at the time, lays down an almost iconic score which envelopes the film in a hazy, drunken, passion-filled surrealism. The films thematic catalyst? Murder, unrepentant love, and betrayal, which in film noir is somewhat run of the mill. What really separates this film from, say the American classic Double Indemnity, is its parallel focus on the youth culture gestating within Paris at the time. Specifically, the street thugs Louis and Veronica display a complex mix of naiveté and hell bent determination to make something happen. While a murder gone awry may be the narrative foundation of this film it is not, most certainty, what it is about.

Briefly, I would like to mention the stylistic flourishes that Louis Malle employed within the film. First and foremost his use of natural light is brilliant, especially concerning his treatment of the great Jeanne Moreau. In probably the most well known scene from the film, Moreau’s character desperately seeks out her lover Maurice through the streets of of a dimly lit Paris street. She saunters from shadow to shadow, briefly pausing within the bright glow of a street vender, only to disappear again into the darkness of the Paris night a moment later. By todays todays standards this may not seem ground groundbreaking, but at the time it was not normal practice to shoot your female star in dark, half lit scenes. Secondly, his use of hand-held camera work, while not the first of its kind, furthered the pseudo-realist trajectory of the forthcoming new wave.

If you’re wondering why I have not included a brief rundown of the story, or its main plots points it is not because I have forgotten to include these. I will say it again….Murder, unrepentent love, and betrayal…sometimes that is all you need to say.

See this movie.

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I just thought I would put this on here in light of J’s last post and because I think Mr. Allen, the artist, is a true genius. This interview is hilarious if you, like me, are a cynical bastard……Best quote, “I try and keep as much comedy out of my films as possible…”

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It is 4:00 pm on Friday. Most people at this point of the week should be thinking about what their beer is going to be after week, and what they plan on doing during the weekend.

Not me. I am sitting here pondering the meaning of life.

At lunch I finished reading Eugene Sledge’s With the Old Breed which details his experiences during World War II. Not exactly a light read, and not something I would recommend to people. It deals with some very heavy material, and describes in succinct, yet poignant detail moments of sheer brutality that are beyond comprehension.

Needless to say that damned book has had a profound impact on me, at least for today, and possibly hardened my already cynical view on life best described from this scene from Woody Allen’s Match Point:

Sorry to bring it down notch. Perhaps this post is more cathartic than anything. I promise PB&J will post light-hearted material again!

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A Star is Born

I will be penning a retort to our angry friend’s tirade soon, but until then, here is little proof of how good a remake can be……Gotta love that hair…

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AHHHHH!!!!!!! You have to be kidding me!!! Just heard that Look Who’s Talking is being remade, and will star the original cast.

Damn you Tarantino. When someone’s career dies, YOU LET THEM STAY DEAD!!!!

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RIP

Wow. I was looking through the news this morning and learned that Corey Haim has died from an apparent drug overdose. I guess for those of you that watched the reality show The Two Corey’s this may not be a such a shock. But for me, I find this news to be a little sad. Being a product of the 80’s, I was always a fan of this Corey and I can honestly say I thought he had some very memorable movies, such as The Lost Boys, License to Drive, and my personal favorite, Dream a Little Dream. I will always remember him for his cool hair.

Sad news this morning.

UPDATE:

Here is a classic clip from The Lost Boys. Enjoy.


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Crazy.

I just saw “Crazy Heart” and I must say I am more than pissed at the academy for not giving this movie an Oscar nod. I mean, geez, the nomination list is expanded to 10 films this year. Can anyone (without looking at our earlier posts) name 10 good movies this year?

I am going to temper myself a bit here, and write a more expanded post later, but here is a little clip from the movie to butter you up.

The Dude abides.

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