Essentially a character study (and semi-bizarre romance love story) between Vincent Lindon’s Professor Charcot and Soko’s Augustine with 3-4 really strong frames
Soko’s performance is very impressive- she’s epileptic but not simply a victim, she’s a strong woman. And Lindon comes off well, too. He’s a no-bull stoic-type clearly feeling the pull of Soko even if he’s held up by the restrictions of his marriage and position as her doctor
I’m not overly familiar with Winocour’s work yet but a nice shot of Soko against the tree in the courtyard at 16 minutes
Some weaknesses formally—there are these stand-alone sequences– interviews with women/patients/victims– that are in the film twice, but nice at beginning and end or anything that lines up like good form
He’s conflicted—feeding her tenderly in one scene, angry with her (because of his feelings the next)
Another stunner at 64 minutes— Winocour even blocks off the left of a frame with a plant
The third strong one comes at 80 minutes with a long shot of the run-down fountain outside of the hospital
The pain on his face as she leaves his live towards the end
Have you seen the films of Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira?
@Cinephile— so at least two- I’ve seen Abraham’s Valley and I’m Going Home… only once and it’s been 10 years. Should I do a deeper dive?
Yep, I think you should give him a try, very good director in my opinion and of course you must not miss his best film, Doomed Love, I think it deserves a place in your best films of the 70s list.
Also, I wanted to ask you what did you think of Zama (2017), i watched it for the second time yesterday and I got blown away, Film Comment has it as the best film of the decade, I don’t agree with them but again I think it’s an excellent film and surely one of the greatest achievements of 2017.
@Cinephile — thanks is this Doomed Love? I’m having a hard time finding it https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077159/?ref_=nm_flmg_dr_47 I just want to make sure I add the right one to the list.
here’s my thoughts on Zama from 2018 when I saw it in theater http://thecinemaarchives.com/2018/08/07/zama-2017-martel/ . I look forward to the second viewing as well. Martel is a tough one. I’ve seen her works and respect her vision– I just have not been awed so far.
@Drake- Yep, this is the one.
As for Zama, to be honest, I agree with the narrative and that’s the only tiny flaw, the movie feels a little flat ( only the last half hour the film escapes from the usual style and breaks new ground ) and sometimes you don’t know what’s happening, the dialogue is confusing. But as I said I don’t have a big problem with that, most movies have flaws. I can’t agree with the unspecial visuals tho. But, you won’t get an argument from me, I have a good friend and cinema lover who thinks the film is ok at best so I can understand someone who doesn’t find it great.
Also, I found a website called Ten Best Films, it’s not similar to yours in structure but the guy makes best films lists. Can you check it out ? I want to hear your opinion because he got some films right but overall I don’t think his lists are very good. I mean, what real cinephile doesn’t have a film like Apocalypse Now on the ten best films of 1979.
@ Cinephile— Thanks for sharing– this interesting. I’ll say that if I agreed with you on the visuals I’d have it in my top 10 of the year regardless of the narrative… you just saw it. Do you have an example of the special visuals in Zama though? I’m asking because you just saw it and wonder what I potentially missed. I’m genuinely interested. Is there a scene, shot or sequence that stands out?
I took at quick peek at Ten Best Films. I like it– very nice site. Clearly this person knows a great deal about cinema. The list of the 2000’s is strong I think. But no Goodfellas in 1990 (this is a red flag)… no There Will Be Blood in 2007 (huge miss)…. 2010 has no Inception, Social Network, or Black Swan (miss, miss, miss)… I guess you could argue it is anti-US and that’s ok— but then it puts like The Mule from Clint Eastwood as the #3 film of 2018. That’s a crazy miss. So I may come back to it for ideas on international cinema and films I should add to my list to see or rewatch— but I’ve seen enough that is just wrong for now.
@Drake- The first and last shot are gorgeous, the scenes at the final minutes are wonderful, especially when Zama is being captured and they cut off his hands, the shot when the men cross the river with the horses is gob-smacking, again the shot where Zama stands on a rock and a ship passes by in the sea is excellent. I was blown away by the simplicity of the film, the interior shots are photographed with purity, the lighting combined with the cinematography is absolutely fantastic. Also the voyer scene is pretty interesting. There are more, but those stand out.
So I agree that the ten best films lists are nice but seriously when someone misses so much films and he is so anti-US as you said then the lists are not completely right.
@ Cinephile…. great stuff on Zama– so I’m going to copy and paste this onto that page so I have it there when I revisit and update.
And yeah – I’m all for international cinema and auteurs that don’t cash in at the box office in the US… but if your top 10’s don’t include like Scorsese (Taxi Driver and Raging Bull left off) and PT Anderson I’m probably out on your lists.
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