Does anyone feel the voice over in Beau Travail detracts from what is otherwise a masterpiece. Maybe someone on here can convince me otherwise, but the voice over, for me at least, was what brought this film down to 4/5 from 5/5. My main issue is that things are said in the voice over that are already expressed sufficiently through the imagery. For example, when they’re at that market in the desert and one of the guys finds Sentain’s compass, Galoup who’s doing the voice over says he recognized his compass right away. Does that really need to be said? I would think the audience would pick up on the implication simply by visualizing the image of the legionnaire picking up the compass and examining it.
Really wish I could help with this, unfortunately I don’t know how to see the film. I’m a Denis fan, went through all her back catalog, this is the one that I can never get my hands on. It was Instant Viewing on Netflix for a while but they’ve been done with the contract on that one for a year or so, and unfortunately I got interested in Denis after 35 rhums, which was about the time they dropped BT from Instant Viewing. How does one actually see this film?
Sorry for the second post, checking the “Send me Notifications” box.
Tierno recognized Sentain’s compass.
For him, Sentain fell prey to someone’s ill will.
You want to leave out Tierno recognized Sentain’s compass. and just have him say: For him, Sentain fell prey to someone’s ill will.
I wish that was my only problem with it! ;-)
Won’t try to convince you, but I really like that voice over, I don’t know how familiar with french you are, but it seldom has such a sound and heavy rhythm Lavant did a hell of a job.
Here’s this too:
AA: For Beau Travail you had written “booklets” rather than a screenplay…
CD: It was Jean-Pol’s idea, because since we didn’t have the authorisation to shoot in Djibouti, and so as not to be bored to death, we wrote Galoup’s remembrances, Galoup’s diary. And I was able to have it read by Chevalier (director of the fiction unit of Arte) or by Denis Lavant, to give them an idea of what the film was like. After that, we wrote the screenplay based on these booklets.
I understand what you mean, I have the same problem with Days of Heaven, but here the voice over adds something, I think.
http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/3683426/Beau_Travail_1999_DVDrip_XviD, if you don’t have access to the film…
You can buy a very cheap artificial eye DVD from Amazon UK. About 5 pounds.
In the simplest terms, you need the voice-over because the POV is Galoup’s in Marseilles after the events of the film, so if you did purely third person omniscient instead, you don’t get the same experience.
At another level, though, the film was made with a very small budget, and minimalizing dialogue minimizes cost. The voiceover allows you to do this.
Also, this was not a connection I had made initially, but Jonathan Rosenbaum has noted the linkage of the film to Godard’s Le petit soldat. Example from the voiceover: Godard’s film ends with voice-over—
“I was happy, because I had a lot of time ahead of me.”
Denis’ film begins with voice-over—
“Marseilles, late February. I have a lot of time ahead of me.”
Let me posit something about those two lines, one objected to in the OP, based on an assertion in Godard’s Notre Musique;
real = uncertainty
imaginary = certainty
real: Tierno recognized Sentain’s compass.
imaginary: Sentain fell prey to someone’s ill will.