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La maman et la putain

Jean Eustache France, 1973

Neither/Nor's rating of the film The Mother and the Whore

Françoise Lebrun is unrelentingly tragic in her final monologue, and through Eustache's framing one endures it like the suffering of a passion play. One can't help but read the film as a reconciliation with earlier revolutionary tendencies in society and cinema, the conundrum of living up to their contracts, and above all, the persistent anxiety of life in their aftermath. "There can be no improvisation."