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#1 Duke Togo

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 03:34 PM

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Louis Malle
An overwhelmingly human director, Louis Malle seems almost criminally underrated during what should've been his heyday during the age of Truffaut and Godard. Though not really as visually or narratively experimental as his fellow New Wavers, he did manage to show tremendous bravery with his choice and execution of subject matter. Seemingly free of any moral slant shared by society, his films could explore just about any taboo as romantic coming-of-age celebrations into humanity.

Recommended Films:
(4) Au revoir les enfants (1987)
(3) Murmur of the Heart (1972)
(3) Lacombe, Lucien (1974)
(2) The Fire Within (1963)
(2) Elevator to the Gallows (1957)
(2) My Dinner with Andre (1981)
(2) Atlantic City (1980)
(1) Phantom India (1969)
(1) Pretty Baby (1978)
(1) Damage (1992)

Save for last:
(2) The Lovers (1958)
(1) Black Moon (1975)
(1) Elevator to the Gallows (1957)

#2 Lawrence

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 03:49 PM

To be honest I've never seen Malle as part of the French new wave, he was around before all that kicked off and never seemed to have much to do with it apart from using the same actors. Am I wrong?

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#3 Duke Togo

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 03:56 PM

I have seen all six in the collection, and am certainly amped for Andre. I rate them accordingly:

Murmur of the Heart 5/5
The Fire Within 5/5
Au revoir les enfants 5/5
Elevator to the Gallows 5/5
Lacombe, Lucien 4.5/5
The Lovers 4/5

Where do I go from here based on my rankings? I am a bit nervous about his American output. I have a difficult time imagining Malle without that distinctively French atmosphere of Paris, Bourgeoisie characters, little Citroën and Peugeot vehicles, and that beautiful poetic French monologuing. I got less out of The Lovers because I despised the characters during most of the film, but found the way Malle threw a certain additional character into the equation to be quite inspired and unexpected. It ended feeling a little sloppy, with the overly optimistic atmosphere laced with doubt coming off as unnatural. Anyhow, that is where I'm at, please show me the way. :wacko:

#4 Duke Togo

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 04:05 PM

To be honest I've never seen Malle as part of the French new wave, he was around before all that kicked off and never seemed to have much to do with it apart from using the same actors. Am I wrong?

He wasn't a forerunner by any stretch, but is still considered a part of it. I guess I would compare him to Seijun Suzuki and Hiroshi Teshigahara in the way they were not responsible for the Japanese New Wave, but still had some of their work considered to be part of it. I know too little about the French New Wave to really comment further. :wacko:

Added: Criterion on the French New Wave (good enough for me?).

#5 clydefro

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 04:16 PM

I think Malle works both in and out of the New Wave group. Seeing Jeanne Moreau wander through the street while Miles Davis' trumpet aches on the soundtrack feels very much in the New Wave tradition. But Elevator to the Gallows comes a couple of years before Breathless and The 400 Blows. And, probably most importantly, Malle wasn't a Cahiers critic like the other New Wave directors. I've always thought he could be included under a very broad definition, like Resnais or Varda, but he's more of a contemporary. The usual term for the split is "Left Bank" (Malle, Resnais, Varda) versus Godard, Truffaut, and others being the "Right Bank" filmmakers.

I like two of Malle's American movies besides My Dinner with Andre. Atlantic City is interesting, perhaps hasn't aged too well, but has a beautiful turn from Burt Lancaster. Damage is a shade better. Neither is really as good as The Fire Within or the three movies in Criterion's box set.

Excerpt on The Fire Within - "Malle's extreme objectivity, perhaps solidified with this film, is the quality with which his legacy should be assured among those constantly searching for some ridiculous auteur stamp. The director's bravery in choices across his career, including the nonjudgmental exploration of topics as misunderstood as adultery, suicide, incest, and irreconcilable evil, seems resolutely triumphant. His refusal to lace these particular subjects with cynicism or opinion must be the entire point of their focus." [link]

#6 Ian

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 04:17 PM

I really enjoyed Murmur of the Heart and Au Revoir, Les Enfants in the 3 films by Louis Malle boxset. I didn't have a strong reaction good or bad to Elevator to the Gallows or The Lovers. Out of his American movies, I've only seen Pretty Baby as a teenager but remember quite liking it. He doesn't really seem to have a uniform style from film to film from what I've seen. It makes blind buying his Criterion releases a more difficult proposition IMO. I will be giving Andre a try as I really liked some of the clips I found on youtube and the strong recommendations on this forum.

#7 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 03:29 PM

...I like two of Malle's American movies besides My Dinner with Andre. Atlantic City is interesting, perhaps hasn't aged too well, but has a beautiful turn from Burt Lancaster. Damage is a shade better. Neither is really as good as The Fire Within or the three movies in Criterion's box set.
...


Atlantic City has one of those all-time great quotations: "Don't touch the suit." Great performance from Lancaster.

I second both of these picks (need to see more of Malle's American films as well as The Fire Within which I'm quite looking forward to, when will I get to it ;)).

I also love Au revoir les enfants (1987), Lacombe, Lucien (1974), Elevator to the Gallows (1957) and I'm surprised no one mentioned Phantom India -- one of my favorite documentaries.
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My Criterion Collection (408; I Own and Have Watched):
1-16, 18, 19, 20, 21(2nd), 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51(1st & 2nd), 52, 52, 53, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86. 87, 88, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151(1st), 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 164, 165, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 177, 180, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 204, 205, 206, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 224, 226, 227, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 237, 239, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 260, 263, 266, 267, 268, 271, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 297, 298, 300(2D), 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 335, 336, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 351, 352, 353, 354, 357, 358, 359, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 378, 379, 380, 383, 385, 386, 387, 388, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 404, 405, 408, 409, 410, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 424, 425, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 437, 439, 441, 445, 446, 447, 448, 451, 453, 455, 456, 457, 459, 460, 461, 462, 465, 470, 475, 476, 478, 481, 482, 487, 490, 497, 498, 499, 500, 501, 503, 505, 512, 524, 525, 526, 528, 529, 530, 531, 539, 540, 543, 556, 565, 572, 578, 579, 580, 586, 596, 650, 664, 677

Previous Editions: 2,
Eclipse: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 23, 26, 33

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#8 havemercyonme

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 04:14 PM

Did anyone seen Vanya on 42nd street ( 1994 )?
I find this movie really interesting and entertaining and It is one of my favorite
Malle`s film.
My top 5 Malle`s films.
1. My Dinner With Andre
2. Vanya On 42nd Street
3. Lacombe, Lucien
4. Atlantic City
5. The Fire Within

#9 Opale

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 09:11 AM

I'm pretty sad that no one seems to have seen Zazie dans le métro. It is a great movie for all age and such a great directing effort. It's a classic in France, everybody have seen it even the children....

#10 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:50 AM

I'm pretty sad that no one seems to have seen Zazie dans le métro. It is a great movie for all age and such a great directing effort. It's a classic in France, everybody have seen it even the children....


FYI: It does not have a R1 release and is only part of the R2 Louis Malle Volume One (pretty good deal on Amazon UK right now if you want to double dip).

While I do want to see this I'm not sure why it's pretty sad to have not seen this film with the massive amount of cinema out there. Is it better or as good than what Criterion/Eclipse has put out for Malle?
Under Construction:
My Criterion Collection (408; I Own and Have Watched):
1-16, 18, 19, 20, 21(2nd), 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51(1st & 2nd), 52, 52, 53, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86. 87, 88, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151(1st), 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 164, 165, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 177, 180, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 204, 205, 206, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 224, 226, 227, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 237, 239, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 260, 263, 266, 267, 268, 271, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 297, 298, 300(2D), 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 335, 336, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 351, 352, 353, 354, 357, 358, 359, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 378, 379, 380, 383, 385, 386, 387, 388, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 404, 405, 408, 409, 410, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 424, 425, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 437, 439, 441, 445, 446, 447, 448, 451, 453, 455, 456, 457, 459, 460, 461, 462, 465, 470, 475, 476, 478, 481, 482, 487, 490, 497, 498, 499, 500, 501, 503, 505, 512, 524, 525, 526, 528, 529, 530, 531, 539, 540, 543, 556, 565, 572, 578, 579, 580, 586, 596, 650, 664, 677

Previous Editions: 2,
Eclipse: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 23, 26, 33

“Empty your bladder of that bitter black urine you call coffee.” – The Tick

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#11 Opale

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 01:28 PM

I'm pretty sure its his best work but I really can't say if I prefer it to murmur of the heart or Au revoir les enfants. It is pretty different from his other work, it is pretty felliniesque...



That dreamlike movie is about Zazie who who visit his uncle in Paris. She have that obsession of taking the metro but it is on strike on that day. The city becoming a chaos because of the strike a zazie being in a sort of revolt the movie looks a lot like a fellini movie. Zazie evade his uncle appartment and create a little chaos everywhere she goes by insulting, stealing and hurting people.
+ you got the uncle who have some existential problems and impersonate women...

#12 Duke Togo

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 02:27 PM

FYI: It does not have a R1 release and is only part of the R2 Louis Malle Volume One (pretty good deal on Amazon UK right now if you want to double dip).

While I do want to see this I'm not sure why it's pretty sad to have not seen this film with the massive amount of cinema out there. Is it better or as good than what Criterion/Eclipse has put out for Malle?

I unfortunately only have the Volume 2 set, but I can attest to the picture quality. Burned in English subs, which I know you hate, at least look nicer than blocky DVD font here. I've only watched Black Moon from the set, and found it a bit hard to like. Here Malle tries his hand at a surrealist fantasy film, and I just could not fully embrace it. Without a doubt a "Save for last". :D




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