Perhaps the most ‘accomplished’ film ever made, in the sense that all of its themes are handled thoroughly, scripted beautifully, and every character is given enough time to live out their lifecycle within the span of the films’ running time. Its a mystery how Carne did this at a time of such oppression – creativity in such an atmosphere must have been a hard thing to nurture, but he did it.
Other than Arletty’s stoic performance, I find that this film is strangely missing from many crucial lists on The Auteurs, which leads me to believe that not many people have seen it, or that for some reason it doesn’t have much pulling power anymore – which strikes me as strange. At Cannes, they recently celebrated this as the best French Film ever made (and I’d go a step further and advocate that its indeed the best film ever made anywhere, but hey thats just me).
However, despite the abundant extras on the DVD, I find that the Criterion release is somewhat lacking. There are tons of extras and TV Documentaries (France-only, sadly) that have never seen the light of day since their original broadcast. I long for it. In the same way I long for those 100 extra hours of footage that Trier apparently has for ‘Dancer in the Dark’.
I love this movie! For a long time, this was at the top of list criterion discs I wanted.
I also think the claim that this is the greatest French film has credibility.
St. Gustav, I’ve experienced this film at the cinema, just last year, actually. I didn’t find it overwhelmingly brilliant, but that’s just me; others more familiar with it and from this school of cinema will obviously find it absolutely dandy.
However, I must say, this is probably the first movie, feature film or otherwise, to capture THE MOONWALK! If anyone has the clip from the film, please post it!
I saw the Criterion disc a few years ago. It was my first time watching the film. It immediately struck me as a sweeping, powerful masterpiece. I agree that the film is not discussed much here or counted among the great accomplishments in the history of cinema. Perhaps its true that not many people here have seen it. For me its probably the greatest French film of the classical era that I’ve seen. I rate it higher than “Rules of the Game” and it should probably also be placed side-by-side up there with any great epic in the history of cinema.
It’s a beautiful film and an incredible emotional experience. The greatest love story film ever made, but it’s certainly much more than just that – life, the world.
The only mime that isn’t irritating – Baptiste is magical.
I love this!! The subtle ironies and superb performances. Definitely my fave movie of all time.
I saw the movie a good few years ago while living in Paris (yes, I speak French). Honestly, most people there have only ever heard of it as a sort of “legend.” It’s like Citizen Kane in the states… except some four hours long and divided into two episodes. As for the best French film ever made, I’d have to disagree. In fact, alot of lists put “The Rules of the Game” at the top and often “Army of Shadow.”
…as far as film legends go, I think my #1 would be finding the lost 9-hour version of “Greed.”
Like I said, I have it rated higher than “Rules of the Game”. I love “Army of Shadows”, but I think it’s not on the level that “Enfants” is.
As a side note, it’s interesting that still not many people are wanting to discuss this film. I for one would love to hear some detailed thoughts about it. It’s just not that popular in the community, apparently.
The last couple of minutes of this film are a thrilling example of how art can be sad and happy at the same time. You can’t catch and pin down Garance, and that i a great thing.
Absolutely, the ending was great. Not much was done wrong with this film.
I think my favorite scene is the performance in the middle of the film. When we see the three-way love affair play out on stage, but coded in behind-the-scenes eye glances. It’s masterful directing.