Sunday, November 24, 2013


Miss Drew Barrymore

...thy name is Drew Barrymore!

I have no idea why the woman was chosen by Turner Classic Movies (cable channels #97/734 on the local system) to co-host their Saturday evening "The Essentials," but last night she exposed herself more fully than she ever did in either "Doppelganger: The Evil With­in" [NWS] or "Boys On The Side." [NWS]

It was neither attractive nor titillating!

The film being shown and discussed by Barrymore and her co-host, Robert Osborne, was Jean-Luc Goddard's seminal nouvelle vague effort, "Breathless" (À bout de souffle) which caused a sensation when it was released in 1960.

The film still stands on its own, now, more than half-a-century after it and contemporary works by François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol and a handful of others changed the look and feel of French cinema.

What doesn't stand, not for any ten second period during which her mouth is open, is the contributions of Ms. Barrymore... she hasn't clue the first about the film itself, the director or the nouvelle vague "school," and it's embarrassing listening to her trying to say something... anything, relevant about that selection.

(Almost as disappointing was the quality of the print and subtitling TCM presented!)

Barrymore was born in 1975, more than ten years past most of the nouvelle vague activity, and clearly has no background or credentials that would allow her to comment on the film.

Boo! [Hssss!]

Updated 12/05/2013 – 01:26 a.m.


The always excellent video-distribution company, Criterion, will be adding a restored high-definition digital transfer of "Breathless" to its collection this February.

The Blu-ray disc with including many extras, including interviews with director Godard and actors Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg and Jean-Pierre Melville plus numerous extras. It's been on my Amazon "wish list" for months!


1. Frank Wheeler said...

Anyone who thought Steve McQueen was the "King of Cool" had never have seen Belmondo in this flick.


2. WR Moore said...

"Frech cimema?" Not that I've got any idea what "nouvelle vague" is anyway.

Got the one (thanks!), you are mistaken on the other, and a free translation means "New Wave," a directorial style pioneered by Goddard, Truffault, Chabrol, et al.

3. Susan said...

Intriguing - it is actually nouvelle vague. A loose "movement" inspired by the critics of the time. Truffaut and Goddard "put their money where their mouths were," so to speak, and produced films based on their ideas of cinema. Good read and challenging. I agree with Frank - Belmondo was the ultimate King of Cool.

Rats! Always did have problems with gender en français. Apologies also to Br'er Moore.

While that "movement" may have been loose and, according to some, lasting only six years, it opened up important vistas for other film-makers everywhere.

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