Saturday, 10 August 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 244: Sun Sep 1

Bonjour Tristesse (Preminger, 1958):
Rio Cinema 6.30pm &
BFI Southbank, NFT1 6.30 & 8.45pm

Otto Preminger's marvellous example of Hollywood cinema's golden age has been wonderfully restored and can be seen on an extended run at BFI Southbank and also at the Rio Cinema all week.
I wrote a feature about the film and its star, Jean Seberg, for the Guardian when the movie was screened at the London Film Festival last year.

Chicago Reader review:
'Jean-Luc Godard conceived Jean Seberg's character in Breathless as an extension of her role in this 1958 Otto Preminger film: the restless teenage daughter of a bored, decaying playboy (David Niven), she tries to undermine what might be her father's last chance for happiness, a romance with an Englishwoman (Deborah Kerr). Arguably, this is Preminger's masterpiece: working with a soapy script by Arthur Laurents (by way of Francoise Sagan's novel), Preminger turns the melodrama into a meditation on motives and their ultimate unknowability. Long takes and balanced 'Scope compositions are used to bind the characters together; Preminger uses the wide screen not to expand the spectacle, but to narrow and intensify the drama. With Mylene Demongeot, Geoffrey Horne, and Juliette Greco; photographed in Technicolor (apart from a black-and-white prologue and epilogue), mainly on the Riviera, by Georges Perinal.'
Dave Kehr

Here, and above, a video essay on Jean Seberg and the movie.

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