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Un carnet de bal – 1937 Duvivier
- With Pépé le Moko coming out earlier in 1937—it certainly appears that this is at least the brightest of Julien Duvivier’s star—the moment he had the most clout and stature
- The narrative plays out similarly to Jim Jarmusch’s 2005’s Broken Flowers– Marie Bell plays Christine (another common title for the film)—it is a step by step episodic structure- Christine, now a widow, is going back to all of the old dancing partners and crossing them off on a list (10 total- but Duvivier doesn’t show all 10).
- Heavy wipes in transitions
- Floral arrangement in the frame of Christine’s mansion—I doubt it is an influence and it isn’t on that level but reminded me of Swedish director Molander’s Intermezzo in 1936.
- Duvivier has shown again and again he is like a pitcher that can throw every pitch—he’s known for his lyrical camera tracking shots— but here there’s also a beautiful use of slow-motion (Jean Vigo’s Zero For Conduct is 1933)– dancing sequence at the ball (in memory—perfect use) and then a dissolve montage and it ends with a wipe transition
- A stalking camera – Duvivier doesn’t like to cut
- At 51 minutes- the camera tracks in on Harry Baur (another Duvivier collaboration)- he’s playing a priest- the moving camera has a palpable impact on the scene as they remember each other. Another one at the 90-minute mark as the camera pulls back at the wedding
- A film about regret—unfilled lives—lives changed by one fateful night- sad
- All of the ex-dance partners are interesting—nobody is happy selling insurance- haha. One is mayor getting married, one the seedy owner of a nightclub, a priest, a worker in the mountains—the doctor is the greatest segment
- So there are really two films here- the rest of the film is a solid recommend- but the one segment with the bizarre one-eyed doctor is utterly brilliant. It is at the 97-minute mark—Duvivier uses canted angles galore- the entire apartment and sequence at an angle. German-expressionism. If that wasn’t enough there is a bulldozer outside shifting back and forth in the eye-line
- Slow-motion at the ball again
- Dissolves of Gerald
- 130 minutes
- Highly Recommend- goes up a notch on the strength of that one sequence