Given my appeal for this director's work + his inimitable ensembles, why, oh, why are his 'prints' so murky & awful?! Same goes for sound.
It's happened w/ other films of his I own & he (clearly, pun intended) deserves better.
You have the feeling that there is an uncanny, "other" subtext here-- no one will name it, but it's there. One of my favorite films of the 90s, it makes me think (not sure why) of Godard's Helas Pour Moi.
Loved the scampering, creepy tone of this film. Mathias is fascinating to watch: his stumbling exterior belies an intensely focused, morally motivated interior. William's recitation of the Richard III speech was a perfect introduction to his character, as was his recitation of Hamlet's "To Be or Not to Be" as Mathias takes decisive action. Wonderful moments with Mathias and the skull. Alas, Yorick!
It's occasionally incoherent but La Sentinelle is a good first feature from Desplechin, foregrounding a number of themes that would become commonplace in his work. Fascinating too to see the early appearances of a whole generation of French actors.
"I am determined to prove a villain and hate the idle pleasures of these days." The muddy colors of the film really made it hard to enjoy at all. "There! You know some guys! That's good, you see people. You see people, you make phone calls." Spy story interesting. "I'm taking care of someone... who's dead. I'm taking care of his memory."