Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bonjour Jean

by Ryland Walker Knight


—colored adoration


—contrast solitude


—burning, bled


—turning, tournage


  1. One of my absolute favorite movies, and those images encapsulate why as well as any: the brilliant use of color versus b&w, the manipulation of framing and the relationships between characters. I love the tension between the bright, cheery surface of the film and all the tangled emotions boiling underneath. It's Preminger's masterpiece.

  2. I'm still discovering Preminger, admittedly late, and I must say that this one sure is a doozy. I may have more to say later, after it's been pushed around by some others I've got queued up, such as Daisy Kenyon, arriving tomorrow.

    If anything, it's a world away from the pretty silly mania of Bunny Lake, which was still really entertaining, and has a terrific finale with at least one super duper jump scare.

  3. Daisy Kenyon is interesting to see Preminger working in a different mode than usual, to see how his cool, controlled approach adapts to the form of the "woman's picture." Not top-notch Preminger, but worth seeing for sure.

    A lot of people love Bunny Lake, but I'm with you: silly, entertaining, some good moments.

    In my opinion, though, the best Premingers, other than Bonjour Tristesse, are Anatomy of a Murder, Advise & Consent, and most of his early noirs (esp. Fallen Angel and the obvious Laura). I also have a special soft spot for some of his flawed but fascinating works like Saint Joan (Seberg's critically savaged debut, which reconstitutes the famous story as a light, ironical satire) and The Cardinal (which cycles through a checklist of Catholic "moral values" in its examination of faith, politics and humanism).