Perriot Le Fou

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Le Fou
 is a film based on Lionel White's novel, Obsession; it is also Jean-Luc Godard's tenth directorial work. The narrative follows Jean-Paul Belmondo and Godard's favorite leading lady (even though this was in production after their divorce), Anna Karina as they play two lovers on opposite ends of the spectrum. Ferdinand (Belmondo) leaves his wife and children for the babysitter, Marianne (Karina) after losing his job he held at a television station.  As the film unfolds, the two lovers begin to narrate their love story. However, their back-and-forths begin to contradict what the other is saying. Not only that, they begin to play Bonnie and Clyde. They beat up people and jack their cars, commit a few murders, and of course they blow shit up. Most importantly, they both end up dead at the end of the film. Shocking.

However, Godard's use of lighting, shadows, and colors in the film is very vivid. More specifically, Godard uses the color red in much of the movie in various ways. In one of the first scenes, Godard goes over-the-top with his use of colors. In this party scene, the rooms are flooded with lights that change color from red to blue to green. The scene starts out all red until the nude blonde begins speaking and it suddenly changes to blue. He also dresses Karina in red for most of the film. The walls in her apartment are all bright white which allows her red clothing to stand out more against such a bland background (similar to A Woman is a Woman). Later in the film, the use of red is blatantly obvious. After the lovers are separated, she is wearing a red shirt when they finally reunite. During the heist sequence, Ferdinand's car is red, they run into a little girl wearing a red shirt, and Ferdinand, himself, is even wearing a red shirt under his suit.  His choice to surround Karina's character with the color red could be an allusion to how he felt about her and their real-life romance before the divorce. Her dialogue is filled with complaints and double-crossing. Karina's character is even murdered while wearing a red shirt, which can definitely be seen as one final shot to her - no pun intended.

The Story of Adele H.

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This film is much different than many of the other films from Truffaut. The style of the film is much more conducive to American audiences than some of his other works. The lack of New Wave characteristics such as out-of-context shots and extremely long tracking shots make the film much more 'Americanized' for the audience; meaning that for those who have only been familiar with American major motion pictures, the flow and story of the film easy for the audience to digest. 

The Story of Adele H. is a film that follows the story of real life Adele Hugo, daughter of Victor Hugo. Adele travels to Nova Scotia in Canada in order to seek out her long, lost love Albert after he had joined the army. After the first ten minutes or so of the film, those in the audience who do not know the story behind the film are led to believe that this will be a beautiful story of separated lovers reconnecting and living happily ever after. However as the narrative of Adele H. unfolds, the audience is forced to bare witness to Fatal Attraction circa nineteenth century. 

After learning that her former lover has no desire to continue on with their relationship, Adele resorts to an extremely delusional outlook on life. She spies on him at another woman's house and writes to Albert saying that "he is so handsome...he deserves all of the women in the world." When he denies the opportunity to not only have any woman he desires, but to also have Adele waiting on him at home, she slips further into her delusional world. Throughout the film, she lies to her parents to much that she ultimately digs herself so deep that she cannot get out of it any longer. She continuously writes home to her parents telling them that she and Albert will not only be married, but she also needs advances on her allowances in order to take care of the nonexistent wedding obligations. 

As the film continues, we are hoping for Adele to finally realize that she is only slowly killing herself in order to chase Albert. However, it only gets worse. She dresses up as a man in order to sneak into a party to see him, she sends him prostitutes as 'gifts,' and she even resorts to speaking with a hypnotist to see if she can hypnotize Albert into loving her. Finally, just as in Fatal Attraction, he delusions and desperation inevitably lead to her downfall. Granted that Albert is no saint with his gambling debts and promiscuity around Nova Scotia, throughout the film Adele continues to go out of her way to make sure that if she cannot have him, no one will. After following his regiment to Barbados, she is found in the street after wandering like a peasant with the same dress she previously had on back in Nova Scotia. This callous persistency leads to a lonely existence until her death back in Paris.

Day For Night

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Francois Truffaut's Day For Night is a very self-reflexive film that takes the audience through the arduous process of making a film. Every detail, both good and bad, is featured in this film. The documentary-style approach follows a director (actually played by Truffaut), his crew, and his cast as they make a film entitled Je Vous Presente Pamela. The cast each speak about the characters they play on screen. In one of the  many comical moments of the film, the producer is asked something about the film by the one of the mock documentary crew and he yells back "the producer should stay out of sight." 

The film also successfully depicts the nonstop headache the director endures over the course of trying to make a film. First, the actors create more drama off the camera then they do on it. Alphonse takes it upon himself to fall in love with someone who obviously does not feel the same way. This on-set romance quickly deteriorates and turns Alphonse into a moron off-screen. His erratic behavior ultimately leads to him almost destroying the marriage of his co-star Julie, who is also a head-case. Before she even arrives on set, Julie's reputation precedes her. In her previous film, she walked off production due to a breakdown she had, which also led to her marriage of the doctor who treated her (who left a 20 year marriage and kids behind also). This little act of infidelity causes halts to the shooting of the film and ultimately unnecessary problems for the production. The veteran actress of the film, Severine, allows her alcoholism to effect her acting; even to the point of not being able to even read her lines when they are taped on the wall in front of her. Alexandre, another veteran actor who also had an affair with Severine years ago, ends up being killed in a car accident at the end of the film.  These are the problems just caused by the cast of Pamela. If it sounds like a bad soap opera, it definitely plays out that way.

Truffaut also makes may references to Hollywood and other directors of the time including, Hitchcock, Godard, Rosalini, and Bresson. Alexandre, who plays the stereotypical handsome, suave older gentlemen, constantly tells stories of his old projects in Hollywood to anyone who will listen; usually an attractive woman tends to lend an ear. To those who may not be very familiar with the process of making a film, Day For Night successfully portrays all of the good and bad of filmmaking. For those who have more experience with film, the argument can be made that the film romanticizes the filmmaking process. In the end, with the exception of a death, the film was made successfully. Most know that is definitely not always the case in the real world.  


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Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville is a science-fiction film that deviates from other films in his catalogue. While the film contains the usual characteristics of a New Wave film by Godard - i.e. tracking shots that take forever, out-of-sequence shots that make no sense, and severe manipulation of sound, the premise of the film is very odd. Godard is known for coming up with some very weird stories in his films. Keeping that in mind, even this film is a stretch for him. The film is shot in modern-day France (at the time, of course) and is supposed to represent a futuristic society. Godard even uses small inferences to make reference to the present time we live during the film. Caution mentions that he drives a Ford Galaxy,  - a somewhat comedic reference to both the present and to signify they are in the future. 

There are hardy any shots in the film that take place during the day. The final sequence of the film shows Caution and Natasha driving away from Alphaville (in his Galaxy) on a highway at night. The overhead shooting of the scene, along with the lighting that the street lights provide, attempts to give the illusion of driving away in space. Given the time in which the film was produced, it is an effective shot for the film. As the narrative unfolds on screen, it becomes more and more difficult to take the film seriously. In Alphaville, women are treated as nothing more than sex slaves and servants for an obviously extremely male-dominated society. Even the computer that controls Alphaville, Alpha 60, has the voice of a raspy man. All of the women are branded by numbers and have a very weird tendency to say "I'm well, thank you" to men even when they are not even asked. Instead of coming off as shocking and unbelievable to us, it comes off simply as just being weird and almost comical. Granted that outside of some very intense Star Wars fans, there are not that many people when watching a sci-fi film they actually feel like that are in some alternate universe. With that being said, I do not expect to become lost into a different world when watching a film such as this. The only realistic expectation anyone can make is that we hope to be entertained somehow. Don't get me wrong, I was entertained, just not exactly in the way as Mr. Godard would have hoped.