From: Beebe,Roger W (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Jan 26 2011 - 07:59:05 PST
I was thinking of a response to this reading of Irma Vep that would channel the spirit of David James' _Allegories of Cinema_, specifically his critique of _Easy Rider_. I agree that _Irma Vep_ is ambivalent in that final gesture with the experimental film (which is why I referred to the director within the film as a "genius madman" with both possibilities in play). But the fact that Assayas doesn't follow through with this potential opening up of French cinema (by, say, abandoning traditional narrative film in favor of more truly experimental forms) demonstrates that he doesn't really believe in that kind of opening up. In some ways, his flirtation with the avant garde is no more serious than any Gatorade commercial--he wants to want it (or wants you to want him for his edginess), but in the final analysis, the guy's committed to the narrative feature (and the mode of production that supports and is sustained by).
Not an Assayas fan (obviously),
On Jan 25, 2011, at 4:23 PM, John Matturri wrote:
> Not so sure about the reading that's been given of Irma Vep: you can
> also read the final sequence as suggesting that this way in fact would
> be a logical way of re-opening up French cinema, though one that would
> certainly be perceived as mad by the producers who replace the Leaud
> character with a much more conventional director. The film explores all
> sorts of attitudes and alternatives to what film could be / become
> without I think taking a stable position on any of them.
> On 1/25/11 2:27 PM, Jim Flannery wrote:
>> Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 6:53:06 AM, one wrote:
>>> Indeed. This is pretty much the only time you see experimental techniques
>>> employed in most mainstream cinema: to depict 'altered states' such as psychosis
>>> etc. It's quite sad really.
>> Well, not so much in _The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz_ ... but not
>> the greatest framing there either.
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