(1962) dir. François Truffaut
I had an interesting experience with this film. For some cockamamie reason, somewhere in my convoluted brain, I forgot that this was a Truffaut film and thought it was a Jean-Luc Godard film. Even from renting it, sticking it into the DVD player and watching the entirety of the film. It was only when the film ended and came back to the DVD menu that I realized that it was a Truffaut film. It’s a bit weird, but somehow I got it all goofed up. Let me tell you, they might take away my union card for this one. Does this further demonstrate the reason that I shouldn’t be writing about films at all?
The experience was weird because I was watching it as a Godard film and thinking how restrained and linear it was compared to other work of his during this period. While the style has the New Wave modernism featuring plays with narrative, voice-over, editing, what have you, it seemed to lack the politicism of Godard and I was thinking that this was a much more personal and emotional of a film than I’d seen of his.
Of course, Jule et Jim, as probably most people know is a beloved Truffaut work, not his companero in the French New Wave. And really, the things that I thought about it and found odd in a Godard film are actually a lot more prevalent in Truffaut’s work, even the play with the more traditional narrative tropes and genre stuff.
I also found this film odd that it was a period film, set around WWI. There are moments of exhilaration and moments of great beauty in the film. It reminds me how I need to see more of Truffaut’s work. I have many of his films queued up in Netflix, but I have only seen a handful.
Jules et Jim is excellent. It’s a funny thing, but the more profound the film and experience of the film, I often find myself at a loss what to say. So much is happening in this film, so many moments of strange asides and odd happenings. There are moments of near-misogyny played against aspects of utter empathy. When Catherine throws herself into the river, it’s a strange, tragic, foreshadowing moment. It’s amazing stuff, really. I’ll shut up.