Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Decent enough but I wanted a different ending his actions are rewarded appropriately.
Good, but not great. I have seen a lot better. I recorded on TCM. When I saw Agnes Varda, I figured, what do I have to lose, other than time. Yup, its slow. But, the photography is stunning. Those colors! You can see how those Impressionist artists were inspired. I also loved how she coordinated what the actors and actresses wore, even the extras. And how the coordinated with the set design. And of course the entire film was set to Mozart. And its timeless. No way would you think it was filmed in 1965. I guess for its time, it was considered a masterpiece. My mother was into foreign films, so she dragged me to them as a kid. I was more into Godard and Truffaut. Also Renais. And later on Eric Rohmer. So i was a bit disappointed as it was slow. But how she filmed it was fabulous.
At only 79 minutes of runtime, Le Bonheur felt about an hour too long. There were an excess of scenes that were inserted for mood and tone that could all be cut. Not to mention the story in this movie is one that you could find in any dime-store romance novel, so it’s exceedingly predictable. I was totally shocked to find that this was written and directed by a woman, because it comes across as the vilest form of male wish-fulfillment, I just naturally assumed some chauvinist man wrote it. There was a moment about 30 to 45 minutes in that I realized I despised the main character and wanted to punch the goofy grin off his face, and my hatred only escalated as events progressed for him. The only compliments I had for Le Bonheur were that the narrative was clear, the visuals were nice, and it was relatively short. Otherwise it was an infuriating experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. While that seems a bit strong, and I’ve certainly disliked other movies more, there was simply something about the conclusion to Le Bonheur that got under my skin. It certainly didn’t bring me any happiness.
Agnes Varda's take on the meaning of happiness is photographed in vivid pastels, which might be why it doesn't feel as biting as it should.
Visually beautiful and intellectually provocative, but too cold for my taste.
A sarcastic portrayal of a man's idyllic dalliances outside of his marriage, Le Bonheur mocks the idea that a man is perfectly entitled to meet a woman, marry her, then meet another woman and move on without any consequence by portraying exactly this scenario in bright pastels and over-the-top sweetness to the point that it becomes subversive. Varda's eye for color is impeccable, and the subtle shifts in the color palette signal the criticism she's attempting to convey in a way that feels fresh and original, something that more traditional forms of verbal communication wouldn't. This isn't a groundbreaking or vital piece of filmmaking, but as a feminist indictment of the notion that men are owed happiness at the expense of the women in their lives, it's certainly a refreshing one.
Varda's first coloured pic
Unfaithful Husband: <i>I was afraid you'd say the first time is a surprise, the second time, it's habit. Every day is a new day.</i>
Female Lover: <i>Are you happy at home too?</i>
UH: <i>Very happy.</i>
FL: <i>Your wife is not a habit?</i>
UH: <i>No. I love her very much. We get along, we have fun. And there are the kids. Surprises every day.</i>
FL: <i>And me?</i>
UH: <i>I met you and I love you.</i>
<i>(Lover smiles and kisses the husband)</i>
I do have a serious issue with how fantastically everything happened. My credibility is down the floor. The whole first half is terribly difficult to believe.
We open with a picturesque family picnic. Literally, everything is pretty. The husband is handsome. The wife is beautiful. The children are small and pretty. The day is sunny and blue. Freaking bees fly happily and fornicate with sunflowers. Oh damn, is everything pretty!
By this time, I was scratching my head. Is this a symbolic movie? Will a surprising punch occur afterwards, like in the second act? Will the bees die? Or is this really an idealistic representation of unbearably clichéd family happiness at its maximum capacity?
But then I stopped and said to myself: "Calm down. The movie has just lasted 6 minutes by now. It is Agnés Varda, the grandmother of the New Wave we're talking about! Have faith and stop with the rushed conclusions." I, therefore, waited patiently, looking at the clichéd imagery.
Out of the blue, the affair begins. Why! Am I supposed to beli.... "Wait", I had to speak to myself again. "Don't things normally happen like that in life? Out of the blue? Give the movie an hour more. Maybe the reasons will be revealed later. There's an hour left of potential character development." And so, I waited watching captivating sex scenes.
And then, that piece of dialogue initially quoted happens. I hated the film. I wanted to turn it off. Thank God for my #1 rule in cinema watching: "Never leave a film unfinished", so I endured, despite my frustration. Maybe it was me who was being impatient. But I had already seen more than half of the film. That's seriously bad.
What the second half unleashes is of special value. The lover declares how she has been seeking different forms of happiness, like if this term could have several definitions for the same person at the same time. That is a very interesting questioning. Subliminally, it is suggested that both the husband nor the lover are happy, and are resorting to an immediate solution of tangible pleasure. Here is where sexuality plays its role. The way it is portrayed is hauntingly absorbing, entirely emotional and very revelatory. Sexuality is a tool used to explain more than words did. That is an admirable stunt in my book, and something that female directors normally achieve more easily.
The amount of ideas presented in the last 12 minutes is just shocking. How extraordinary that the whole twist and the thematic content invading those eternal closing 720 seconds can be subject to such a fascinating debate. Suddenly, the film redeemed itself, offering a truly horrifying ending (in the good way) disguised as another idealistic fantasy of positive overtones. I was disturbed. What a brilliant move!
I am angry at this film, because a horribly unrealistic first act was meant to justify the enygmatic and very realistic content of the second, but it doesn't. At all. The second act itself is a thematic masterpiece that rises several relationship questionings to the surface. It was an admirable move. Why was it necessary to endure a questionable show beforehand? A good movie is not supposed to reward a viewer for endurance tests, but to be consistently engaging.
When Varda was criticized because of using "unrealistic hues", she replied that the hues she chose were the ones that psychologically best suited her story. I believe she believes that. Unfortunately, that is a lie.
Before the fans try to tell me that it can be seen as a surreal experience, or merely symbolic, that won't work. Surrealism is entirely a different issue. I won't baptize anything as "surreal" or "symbolic" for justifying mistakes or issues of credibility.
I just feel like Varda cheated on me.
just a remarkable film. varda paints the super-idyllic life of a young couple and their children (played by an irl family) that is all surface and far too good to be true. indeed the husband soon takes a mistress and even feels compelled to tell his wife about her for the sake of honesty as he wants to keep them both. how i longed to see the two women team up a la diabolique but in fact francois isn't evil, he's just a man doing what men have done forever. chillingly reminiscent of the stepford wives. see it!
Agnes varda is new wave woman extraordinaire. The same pioneering sensibility with a feminine touch. Just as ruthless and honest as the others but much more aesthetic. This film makes you think about marriage and fidelity in French ways. I was a bit dumbfounded and deeply moved. You *have* to see this. Would be a wonderful companion to Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage.