Category Archives: 1962

Jules and Jim (1962)

After I was impressed by a viewing of François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, I wanted to watch another one of his films. The Criterion Collection of his film, Jules and Jim was on the shelf and I thought that I might pick it up. At first that I thought the movie was going to be about a couple called Jules and Jim, but I was wrong.

The movie that the story of Jules (Oskar Werner), an Austrian transplant and his extremely close friendship with his Parisian friend, Jim (Henri Serre) before World War I. They have always been together. Jim has a long affair with Gilberte (Vanna Urbino) who is madly in love with him, but he cannot return the favor.

The dynamics of their friendship changes when the headstrong, Catherine (Jeanne Moreau) comes into their lives. they are stuck that she looks like a sculpture that they were both drawn to while viewing slides at their friend, Albert’s (Boris Bassiak) place.

They become fast friends. Jules is developing feelings for Catherine. The trio buys a house where they could all live. Jules wants to marry Catherine. To complicate things further, Jim begins to have feelings for Catherine as well. World War I happens and they lose touch with each other until after the war where Jules and Catherine are married with a daughter, Sabine (Sabine Haudepin).

Jim learns that Catherine is not happy with her marriage to Jules and wants a way out. Maybe Jim is her only chance of true happiness.

The movie is interesting. It’s mostly about two friends who are in love with the same woman. You think it would rip their friendship apart, but it doesn’t. You have this woman who is unsure about what or who she wants in her life. Catherine was a progressive woman who will not be pigeonholed into the typical housewife role like many others.

I was not at all interested in the story. It went back and forth for almost two hours. I started to get bored with the movie after a certain point. When it over, I felt nothing.

Judgment: I could only recommend this to a Truffaut fan.

Rating: 6/10

Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962)

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I’m afraid of everything – birds, storms, lifts, needles – and now, this great fear of death…

— Cléo

Based on the recommendation of Jimmy, one of the co-hosts of the Scene Unseen podcast, I watched writer/director Agnès Varda’s Cléo from 5 to 7 on The Auteurs. This is a Criterion presentation. At first, the way the action flowed in real time bothered me, but the ending is some wonderful that I could forgive it.

Florence (Corinne Marchand) is a famous singer living in France by the stage name of Cléo Victoire. In the beginning of the film, she visits a psychic, Madame Irma (Loye Payen) to tell her about the results of a biopsy she had done two days prior. Cléo wants to know if she has cancer.

The whole movie is about the time that the audience follows Cléo wherever she goes after visiting the psychic and before she gets the results from Dr. Valineau (Robert Postec).

She goes on with her day, trying push her looming fate out of her mind, but she can’t. Her friends cannot keep her busy. She is preoccupied with pending results.

The movie is not everyone’s cup of tea. There tinges of melodrama that is understandable with a star diva-ing out. Other than that, this is a charming, romantic and ultimately optimistic perspective.

Judgment: If you wants to slice of Paris life, watch this film.

Rating: ****1/2

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