Tuesday, January 21, 2014

End of the Road

La marge (Walerian Borowczyk, 1976)

Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997)

The similarities in this instance not being solely limited to the image, but extending to facial ticks, presumed state of mind, presumed fate, and placement within the duration of the film. Because La marge could not innacurately be described as a somnambulistic Joe Dallesandro leaving his family to wander around nighttime Paris and have strange sex, it's drawn comparison in some quarters to Eyes Wide Shut, which I think holds a little more water on paper than it does during the actual act of watching. What was evoked for me was Lynch at times (though it often feels like he's destined to live in the back of my eyes forever) as well as, in its occasional status as a piece of erotica that seemingly can't wait to shake off its flesh, Jean Rollin. And the non-condescending, detailed interludes of brothel lifestyle, with their casual immediacy and ellipses, gives a hint of what Pialat's L'Apollonide might have looked like. (If La marge is great, and it might be, it is so because of these sequences.) But none of that quite gets at the movie's own peculiarities of style and attention, the odd appropriateness of its disarming musical choices, the manner in which its play of ideals and their oblivion accumulates a gravity that should be next to impossible to wring from its initial eye-rolling portrayals of the former.

As my first dip into the work of Borowczyk I am without auteurist context here, but I did watch Touch of Evil again last night, so maybe the best way to leave it is to say that La marge is some kind of a movie.

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