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April 1994


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Leigh Charles Goldstein <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 11 Apr 1994 01:50:40 -0600
text/plain (43 lines)
This was a big film for me.  I saw it on late nite tv when I was a boy;
my parents must have been out, and I must have been old enough to be home
alone (13? 15?).
It was a revelation.  I'd never seen anything so beautiful, so archtypal,
so mysterious, so promising.
The neon sign flashing "E = M C2" was burned into my memory.  I didn't
understand a thing, yet I understood everything.  It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times, and so forth.
I didn't discover which film it was and who made it for many years, when
I bought a VCR and discovered La Nouvelle Vague.
Shortly afterwards I saw Faces.  This also stunned me.  I remembered the
film as magical mystery (since I never came across anything like it in
the theatres) until I discoverd Cassavettes with my wonderful VCR.  This
film convinced me that, although I had not yet met them, and might never,
that there were in fact intelligent and perceptive people to be found on the
planet where I found myself stranded, hopefully not for long.  When I
finally saw Gena Rowlands perform in a play in LA, I was not disappointed.
She is an angel, a creature from another, better world... but I digress.
I haven't seen Alphaville in many years.  I remember it is a combination
of a detective story and science fiction, on an extremely low budget with
an extraordinary amount of cinematic invention.  The theme seems to deal
with the increasing mechanization of society, and how the grittier human
passions which we try to sanitize are the saving grace of humanity.  But
I should probably see it again.  I think on my last viewing I felt there
was a certain casualness and lack of continuity in the film that perhaps
represented a lack of inspiration, as if rather than fill in the missing
pieces of a great painting with mediocre work a painter just decided to
leave them out.  Could've been the atrocious print, though.
_Alphaville, Une etrange Aventure de Lenny Caution_. 1965, 100m. B/W, D.
Jean-Luc Godard.  Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff.
Leigh Charles Goldstein         [log in to unmask]
voice: 303-478-5292 (USA)       CIS 70304,211