Saturday, July 14, 2007


FILMBO ( ) left a comment in my wordpress blog here:

This is my reply:

--In fact, I think I feel very ambiguous about the ending of VA SAVOIR. I think the main reason I was disappointed with the ending is just because it is directed by Rivette, not because the ending is bad or not because it is not appropriate for the film.

I ask myself if this film was directed by anyone else other than Rivette, what I would feel about this ending?

If VA SAVOIR was directed by someone else, I think I would feel good about the ending of the film, I would feel the film is tidied up very very nicely at the end, I would think the ending is a little bit impressive, though it is still not my cup of tea.

To sum it up, I think my disappointment is just the result of my expectation for Rivette’s endings. The ending of VA SAVOIR is actually very good. It’s just not what I expected.

--Talking about VA SAVOIR, I would like to add that there are many things I like in VA SAVOIR, including:

1.The opening scene when the light shines on Jeanne Balibar. This opening scene reminds me of another film. It is a Thai film called PRASART (INSANE) (1975, Piak Poster, A+). There’s an early scene in this Thai film in which a face of a female singer is suddenly lighted up. This kind of scene gives me strong feelings.

2.The scene that Balibar goes out onto the roof. The scene before that gives a very claustrophobic feeling, and then she goes out onto the roof. And I feel very very great.

3.The scene when Balibar just discovered the ring very easily. I like this kind of thing in Rivette’s films very much. For ‘this kind of thing’, I mean some mysteries which are solved very very easily. I think in GANG OF FOUR (1988), there is also a scene in which a key is revealed very easily. And in UP DOWN FRAGILE (1995), the characters also discover something hidden in a cupboard by accident, or something like that.

I think my likeness for this kind of thing is relative. One reason why I like it is because it is the opposite of most films. In most films, when there is a secret or mystery, the characters would have to go through many obstacles before the secret or the mystery is revealed. But in Rivette’s universe, you don’t have to risk your life trying to solve these mysteries (excluding SECRET DEFENSE).

To like something just because it is the opposite of most films—this brings to mind my likeness for Chabrol’s films, too. For example, in THE COLOR OF LIES (1999), there is a brutal child murder occurred in the beginning of the film. But instead of paying attention on how to solve the murder or on how to find the murderer, Chabrol just paid attention on something else. Who is the murderer is not important at all in this film. Chabrol does the opposite of most murder mystery movies in this film, and that’s one reason why I like it very much.

--There are many film endings that I like, including:

(WARNING: My memory is very unreliable. I’m not sure if I remember all the endings here correctly. So if you think I wrote anything incorrectly, please tell me.)

1.The ending when the characters’ problems are not solved:

1.1 THE BEAUTIFUL CITY (2004, Asghar Farhadi, Iran, A+)

1.2 OUR TIMES (2002, Rakhshan Bani Etemad, Iran, A+)

1.3 GILANE (2005, Mosen Abdolvahab + Rakhshan Bani Etemad, A+)

1.4 PRIVATE FEARS IN PUBLIC PLACES (2006, Alain Resnais, A+)

1.5 DIVINE INTERVENTION (2002, Elia Suleiman, A+)

1.6 VOYAGES (1999, Emmanuel Finkiel, A+)

1.7 KNIFE IN THE HEAD (1978, Reinhard Hauff, West Germany, A+)

1.8 FOTOGRAF (2001, Kazim Oz, Turkey, A+)

1.9 INNOCENCE (1997, Zeki Demirkubuz, Turkey, A+)

1.10 LOVELY RITA (2001, Jessica Hausner, Austria, A+)

1.11 BERLIN CHAMISSOPLATZ (1980, Rudolf Thome, West Germany, A+)

1.12 MIKEY AND NICKY (1976, Elaine May, A)

2. The ending which leaves me scratching my head and wonder what the film is all about

2.1 LA BELLE CAPTIVE (1983, Alain Robbe-Grillet, A+)

2.2 POSSESSION (1981, Andrzej Zulawski, A+)

2.3 MULHOLLAND DRIVE (David Lynch, A+)

2.4 BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ (1980, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, A+)

This case is different, because I think I understand this TV series, except the ending part of it. I think the ending of BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ is GREAT, because it is very surreal, and I don’t understand it at all. Hahaha.

3. The ending which makes me feel very sad

3.1 OSAMA (2003, Siddiq Barmak, A+)

3.2 ARMY OF SHADOWS (1969, Jean-Pierre Melville, A+)

3.3 BUNNY (2002, Mia Trachinger, A+)

4.The ending which makes me feel very good

4.1 LOVE LETTER (1995, Shunji Iwai, A+)

4.2 AMOUR D’ENFANCE (2001, Yves Caumon, A+)

4.3 THE TEMPEST (1979, Derek Jarman, A)
I think I disagree with TIME OUT FILM GUIDE about this film. TIME OUT FILM GUIDE seems to like this film, except the ending. But I like the ending part the most in this film. In my opinion, this film gives a very claustrophobic feeling, until the ending when there is a party with sailors and Elisabeth Welch singing STORMY WEATHER. The feeling that I have when I saw this scene is the same feeling that I have when I saw Jeanne Balibar walked on a roof in VA SAVOIR.

MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE seems to like the Elisabeth Welch’s scene, too. He wrote about THE TEMPEST here:

But I still like the review in TIME OUT FILM GUIDE very much, because the reviewer pointed out that the early scenes in this movie are like drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778). I hadn’t heard of Piranesi before. I like this kind of information very much when I read a film review.

This is a drawing by Piranesi. It’s called DRAWBRIDGE (1945).

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