Saturday, November 15, 2014
JEFF OF THE CINEFILES & UNFINISHED BUSINESS: HALL OF FAME FILE #0035: JE T'AIME JE T'AIME (I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU) (1968)
Directed by Alan Resnais
Written By: Jacques Sternberg & Alan Resnais
Cinematography By: Jean Boffety
Editor: Albert Jurgenson & Colette Leloup
Cast: Claude Rich, Olga Georges-Picot, Anouk Ferjac, Alain Macmoy
Recovering from an attempted suicide, a man is selected to participate in a time travel experiment that has only been tested on mice. A malfunction in the experiment causes the man to experience moments from his past in a random order.
Because of the title for some odd reason. I thought the film starred infamous singer Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin his wife. Which is why I initially sought this film out though after finding out the films story it made the film a must see.
This is a film with so much promise with it's concept, yet unlike the other film that are it seem similar this film feels strangely like a minor history lesson on film.
As those other films knew how to make the most out of their concept to stay emotional and engage the audience while setting itself apart from other films.
I'm not going to lie. I have been working on trying to write a film similar to this. Before seeing this film. Not exactly, but similar idea. Watching is film inspired more as I what works and what doesn't, Teaching lessons as to what and why.
The film has dazzling editing that makes the repetition of scenes help reveal more and more about situations and characters that once the film goes linear in between, kind of throws you off the rhythm. Tend to get repetitive and confusing with some scenes being repeated regularly.
It's a film easy to get confused by I not paying attention. As you really have to. It's like putting a puzzle together as the pieces Are presented, yet it's not a mystery but a romantic drama that it's perfectly with films such as 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and MEMENTO not as surrealistic but presents a fragmented narrative that seems assured by experimental in nature. Though all of these films owe a debt to this film. It shows a certain bravery in it's experiment, it doesn't always work, but that is to be expected.
This is the closest to the Novelistic term magical realism that I have seen so far on film.
What hurts the film is that the love story and life we see isn't all that interesting at all. It seemed all thoughts were more on the style and technical aspects. So the story lacks and pays the price, maybe it was thought that people will more be coming for the concept and amazed so they will accept whoever they are given to follow. Plus by making him so average it seems more personable.
Now that might be a strength in the thinking that made the film mostly ideas as most lives are regular an ordinary interesting in pieces and to only the person who lived it necessarily. So here they present a normal life with limited drama to dissect.
Here the filmmakers truly do jump around presenting more snippets of scenes that we return to sometimes not though advancing the sort and let us experience as he recollects. Unlike other films that jump around, but only after we have seen whole scenes.
The device that drives the story works like a time machine as we witness fragments from his life as well as staying in the present, though it is all his past and we see before and after. I appreciate everything seems done matter of factly not necessarily too stylish nor sexy and dynamic. Which could easily lead to distraction and awe. the way it is presented is perfect for the film. This film isn't a special effects extravaganza.
It's telling at first, but once you get used to it. It helps and the fragments before to be presented longer.
Even though the inside of the contraption looks so plush like a gigantic bean bag chair, couch and room/environment. Like a reinforced bouncy castle. Though at times it feels monotonous as it seeks to investigate more the minutiae of feelings and a relationship.
Sometimes the snippets work as a cut to add a PUNCHLINE or an ending To a previous scene
It's a chore to sit through. Though if you are an adventurous viewer. You should be satisfied. Though if not, it will get in your nerves.
As the film goes along it reveals new aspects to things that you thought you had figured out.
The film feels longer then it's 91 minutes. For something so short that is built around shorts.
Though at times rarely to throw some surrealistic humor and endings that don't fit to throw us off. Out of all the nice and not so nice moments he seems to be looking r want to see the perfect moment. Have that perfect experience.
It seems in most Sci-fi films if yesteryear all the technology and objects are so huge and take up so much space and are meant to be futuristic, yet here we are in the future and everything seeks to be so small and limited and digital at least in the past. It have special effects crews working and designing beautiful monstrosities.
The film made me long for days. When you got an album and could only watch It at home experience it as many times as you wanted. It enriched the experience made you pay closer attention to all of it's nuances. Where you could hear singles on the radio maybe even have a portable one, before Walkmans, before tapes. Not duplicated.
The same thing goes for movies before home video or before bootlegging and possibly getting it downloaded or streamed direct to a device. You went to theaters and the whole experience newsreel, cartoon, previews then the main feature made it feel like an event, a date and you remembered the film and experience as much as you could never knowing when you might see it again. You did the work it wasn't given to you like today.
You wanted to remember all aspects of it. Even when I was young we had vcr's but when a film was on television during the week. It was all you talked about the next day at school even with the film edited down. Though you had seen it hundreds of times in tape. It was like seeing it trough fresh eyes as they included scenes never before seen for some tv versions as well as creative editing to keep certain things off screen. Plus when you are young, you are so easily distracted by the newest, latest and the freshest that once something aged is presented again to you as you have not thought about it during your Seperation. It's like watching it again with fresh eyes though you know the ending and big story points. You find a new appreciation. Like getting back together with an ex.
Even only a decade ago you got commercials, ads and games before a feature then the previews. Now it just seems to give you the rules then plays the previews and main feature.