Drew: I did some investigation into Grandrieux. Needless to say I have not yet seen any of the three film's he's made (the other two as you know well I'm sure are SOMBRE and LA VIE NOUVELLE) but found your screencap presentation and some other clips from the film rather fascinating. There was a piercing musical interlude from A LAKE too that had me enraptured. You have again unearthed a hidden trasure here.
Sam, I think Grandrieux is one of the more exciting directors in the world right now. I love his first two that you mention quite a bit, but A Lake is my favorite, and I think he's gotten better, his aesthetics more refined, with every film. I would definitely be interested in hearing your thoughts on him should you get a chance to sit down with any of his stuff. And I don't know if you have access to it, but the Film Comment from a handful of months ago with Huppert on the cover has a really great article on him.
Drew, I just watched this, and while I'm obviously a bit baffled by it, and think I definitely need to see it again, I really, really liked it. The thing that really struck me most was that although it was clearly a work of formal innovation (there were certainly sequences I've never seen anything like before), there was something very familiar about it, which makes sense as he seemed to be trying to carve out a kind of dream-myth. Anyway, I'd love to hear any of your thoughts on it.
Peter, I'm so glad you liked this. Truth be told, it's a little difficult for me to discuss Grandrieux past how his films simply make me feel, as they are such physical, primitive experiences for me, ones that have opened themselves up to intensely visceral/emotional responses, but I'm not sure strong intellectual ones, at least at this point in my viewing. You are right that there is a kind of purity, something very elemental lurking behind (or inside) the radical form, and I think it's been brought out most of all by this film, as there is a particular simplicity and tenderness present here that I've not felt in his other stuff, and it hit me really hard.I love your comment about Grandrieux carving out a dream-myth, I think that's a great way to describe the aura of A Lake, and carving seems to be a particularly apropos term regarding Grandrieux's approach to film in general. I hope you get around to his first two films at some point. As I said earlier, this one is my favorite, but they are all really amazing and ambitious.
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