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Tova Gannana
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Bobby Kennedy wrote in his 1967 book, To Seek a Newer World, “In far too many places-in pleasant suburbs as well as city streets-the home is a place to sleep and eat and watch television; but where it is located is not a community. We live in too many places... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2020 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
Twenty-somethings, Blanche (Emmanuelle Chaulet), Léa (Sophie Renoir), Alexandre (François-Eric Gendron) and Fabien (Eric Viellard) live outside of Paris in the newly constructed city Cergy-Pontoise. They say they value friendship and the rules of friendship. One doesn’t date a friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend. The sentiment “my friends’ friends are my friends”... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2020 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
Eric Rohmer never owned a car. He thought they were immoral. Wherever he went he walked. It is written that Rohmer never told his mother his true profession. She went to her grave never having seen his films. Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle (1987) questions the effect our words... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2020 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
The Green Ray (1986) opens in an office with the shades drawn. The phone rings for Delphine (Marie Rivière) with the news that her friend won’t be going with her on vacation. Delphine is distraught. The other secretaries pay little attention. Delphine wants to get out of Paris but doesn’t... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2020 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
Love in the Afternoon (1972) opens with a man taking his leave. In his overcoat, he collects his things, shushes his daughter in her cradle, and kisses his wife as she dries herself from her shower. “You’ll get wet,” Hélène (Françoise Verley) tells him. “It’s OK. I have my raincoat... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2020 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
These days who isn't. I’m aware of the complications. You having long ago left this globe spinning. Saying I’ll take the girl in the sloppy Joe sweater. You’re not Powell or Gable. You seem to smell of wood and smoke. You seem to know of fire. What does Bacall have... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2020 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
Eric Rohmer’s young women have minds of their own. Hearty and a bit world weary, they can feel they are being observed and yet they do what they want. In Rohmer’s films the young women are not made to feel ashamed, not blamed for what they wear or for what... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2020 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
The wintry weather brings people together in My Night At Maud’s (1969). They huddle in cafes, invite one another to ski while stomping their snowy boots, attend a concert hoping pretty girls might show up in their woolens to listen to Leonid Kogan play Mozart. They enjoy December. Jean-Louis (Jean-Louis... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2020 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
How good and pleasant it is to spend time in the country in a villa with terra cotta tiles, rooms with books stacked on surfaces, one black phone, and a terrace that overlooks a wild rambling field. The port city is far enough away that when you go to it... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2020 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
There are no cloudy days in the countryside, the weather always pleasant. Pauline (Amanda Langlet) is looking forward to the beach everyday having just spent two months with her parents in Spain. She complains, “I’ve always made friends on vacation except this year.” Her cousin Marion (Arielle Dombasle) a divorcée... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2020 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) pours pink house paint into his wife’s jewelery box when he finds her in bed with another man. The three of them get in a fight. Adam’s black clothing is stained with pink hand prints. At a party Adam spins it for laughs, “So, I got... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2019 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
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Kelly (Constance Towers) brushes her wig into place, draws on her eyebrows, and lines her eyelids. She leaves her pimp lying on the floor, whipped by her, and coughing, “I’m drunk Kelly, please.” Loud music plays in his apartment. To the neighbors it might have sounded like a party. The... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2019 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
People say what they think in Murder, My Sweet (1944), sometimes with their fists. They think they’ve all got a hand in the disappearance of a dancer named Velma, in the theft of a jade necklace, in a doctor’s blackmail of his wealthy patients, and in the murder of one... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2019 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
“Detour” means, “to send by a circuitous route.” In Detour (1945), Al Roberts’ (Tom Neal) direction is West, but he himself is directionless. He believes, “Whichever way you turn, fate sticks out a foot to trip you.” He plays piano at the Break O’ Dawn Club when where he wants... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2019 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
There are those who go on vacation to see the sights and those who are the sights themselves. In Niagara (1953), two couples stay at the Rainbow Cabins overlooking the Falls. Delayed honeymooners, Polly (Jean Peters) and Ray Cutler (Max Showalter), picked this spot because of its proximity to Ray’s... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2019 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
The phrases, “you can’t make this stuff up” and “too good to be true” come to mind while watching The Wrong Man (1956). The first refers to Christopher Emmanuel "Manny" Balestrero (Henry Fonda) who is fingered for the crimes of a criminal who happens to be his look-alike. The second... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2019 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
Lolita (Sue Lyon) ends the film Lolita (1962) barefoot and pregnant. Four years before in Professor Humbert’s (James Mason) recollection, Lolita had been a well-heeled adolescent, Humbert, a visiting British professor of French Literature. That Lolita begins with Humbert “Hum” Humbert at the end of his American adventure driving his... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2019 at The Dark Lady Of American Letters
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Nov 1, 2019