On Compiling A Film Canon. August 2017 Update.
It’s a Paris heavy month for the canon.
Prior to heading to the city of light for a Summer break I found myself absorbed by the cinema of Eric Rohmer, perhaps the city’s greatest practitioner, with a number of films screened worthy of induction in to the canon. Heading up a three-strong roster of Rohmer pictures is Full Moon In Paris, the director’s best film, and one of the key works in the all-too-brief oeuvre of Pascale Ogier. Joining Full Moon In Paris are The Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle and A Summer’s Tale, both of which are hugely evocative of their respective times and spaces.
On a more contemporary note stands Bertrand Bonello’s Nocturama, a miraculous piece of new French cinema. Charting the concerns of a group of young people who have together organised a series of politically driven mass-scale attacks throughout the city. It’s an eerie piece of fiction, and one that errs to the contemporaneous reality in which it was made. I wrote more about Nocturama here.
On a similarly apocalyptic note, albeit one made some five decades before Bonello’s film stands Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend, with the film’s closing retort inspiration for the aforementioned trip to Paris upon which I embarked last month. The film’s star, Mireille Darc, sadly passed away earlier this week.
We round out the month on an altogether different note, with The Smallest Show On Earth, Basil Dearden’s endearing British comedy centred around a couple who inherit a run-down small-town cinema. It’s an underseen masterpiece of its time.