Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne

Robert Bresson is French, and therefore I apologize for pronouncing the T in Robert throughout this episode. Jean-Luc Godard once wrote that "Robert Bresson is French cinema, as Dostoyevsky is the Russian novel and Mozart is German music." Though as it turns out Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945) may have come before Besson really became Bresson. His amazing propensity for when and how to use music is there, yeah, but this is also his last film to use professional actors, and it's only his second film. It'll be interesting to see more from him moving forward, and given his stature in French film, we certainly will.

Or subscribe on iTunes!

Children of Paradise

Marcel Carne's Children of Paradise (1945) has been called the French Gone With the Wind because it is also long and racist? At least Children of Paradise keeps its racism contained to a few background characters in terrible blackface. Also, unlike Gone With the Wind, which features a war, Children of Paradise went the extra mile by being filmed during and just after the Nazi occupation of France, taking a bit of a break for D-Day. That's right, the French undermined Nazi authority to make a movie about a mime that doubled as a day job for a good chunk of the Resistance. Cheese-eating surrender monkeys my foot.

Spellbound

The second of Alfred Hitchcock's films made directly under David O. Selznick, 1945's Spellbound is markedly more Hitchcockian than Rebecca, though honestly not as Hitchcockian as George Sluizer's The Vanishing. It also seems to be out to prove Haxan right about the contemporary state of psychology. But there is a dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali which is a total treat.

I Know Where I'm Going!

A story as old as time itself! Woman wants to marry faceless rich dude, instead marries slightly less rich dude who's spent some amount of time berating her.

I Know Where I'm Going! is a 1945 "romantic film" from The Archers that hits a lot of the notes of the common romantic comedy without focusing on the comedy except this one is built on the foundation of a man cursed to marry a woman because an ancestor murdered a cheating wife. What a curse.

There's a lot to unpack here.