Six Moral Tales: Love in the Afternoon

Near the top of this week’s episode Adam once again goes on a short rant about the Criterion Collection’s naming conventions as if there is a logic to any of it. There isn’t.

With slight distance I think the boys would be more apt to agree that all of the moral tales of are critiques of various aspects of what we would now call toxic masculinity. In it, though, even with this last episode, we get bogged down wondering if that reading is more our wish than Rohmer’s design. But finally finishing the series at least provides us with a floor to talk about them better individually.

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Tout va Bien

Tout va Bien (roughly translated: "This is fine"), is the 1972 culmination of Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin's Dziga Vertov Group, a production group focusing on Marxist/Maoist revolution mostly through documentary, though Tout va Bien is a narrative film. It is, however, paired with the didactic documentary Letter to Jane, a postscript to Tout va Bien the dissects the famous Hanoi photo of Jane Fonda, star of the film who in the months following the release of Tout va Bien became an international talking-point. Ultimately, the film stands to ask the question "What is the role of the woke upperclass in the revolution?" and how that intrinsic to finding the right answers is asking the right questions.

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By Brahkage: An Anthology, Volume 1

This week's episode is a long one solely for the plethora and variety of material we're tasked with talking about. Stan Brahkage was an experimental filmmaker and a long-time film professor at the University of Colorado, who principally focused on non-narrative film. By Brakhage covers work from six decades of his career. With over four hours of material in 26 pieces ranging from 9 seconds to 74 minutes long, there's a lot to digest: a lot to love and some, well, not to.

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Solaris

Stanislaw Lem, the author of the novel Solaris, hated Andrei Tarkovsky's 1972 film adaptation so very very much, though as Pat points out in our extended conversation on what to do with the "death of an author" is the author just refuses to die, this is probably just because it was different from his vision. There's a lot to talk about here, and Pat and I do a lot of talking, though this episode could have easily been 5 hours long. It's not! Don't worry!

The Ruling Class

Peter Medak directs this 1972 adaptation of Peter Barnes' 1968 black, black social, political, and religious satire. Star Peter O'Toole describes The Ruling Class as "a comedy with tragic belief", and that is about as succinct a description as possible for this string of great moments spread across a nearly three hour run time. It's long, but immensely hilarious.

The Harder They Come

I think it's safe to say that Pat and I are outside the originally intended target audience of Perry Henzell's 1972 Jamaican gangster film The Harder They Come, but then we're outside the originally intended target audience for a lot of the movies we've watched and loved through the course of this project.

The Harder They Come is a rare film in that it's pop music soundtrack is amazing and the film is its equal, and that is, of course, because the music isn't that far removed from the attitudes and environment that produced the film. That is to say that while the film is more violent than reggae culture is usually viewed as, the film is still a backlash against the corruption and oppression in the same way that the music was.