The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Jean-Louis Trintignant Day


‘Jean-Louis Trintignant was born in 1930 in Piolenc in the South of France as the son of a wealthy industrialist. He moved to Paris in 1950 to study drama and appeared in a number of theatre productions in the early 1950s including Responsabilité Limitée. His first major film role came in Roger Vadim’s international hit Et Dieu crea la femme (And God Created Woman, 1956) opposite Brigitte Bardot. The film brought him widespread attention, but his career was interrupted soon after by compulsory military service in Algiers.

‘By the time he returned from duty, he’d made up his mind to give up acting, but an offer to star as Hamlet in Paris changed his mind. Critical acclaim lead to further film roles in Vadim’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses alongside Jean Moreau and Gerard Phillipe, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze’s romantic comedy Le Coeur battant (The French Game, 1960), Abel Gance’s Austerlitz (1960) and Georges Franju’s Pleins feux sur l’assassin (Spotlight on a Murderer, 1961).

‘In 1962, Trintignant starred as a right-wing terrorist on the run in Alain Cavalier’s political thriller Le Combat dans lîle (Fire and Ice). He then went to Italy to co-star with Vittorio Gassman in Il Sorpasso (1962), which was so successful that the two actors teamed up again in a sequel Il Successo (1963). The films that followed were variable in quality with Costa-Gavras’s all-star Compartiment tueurs (The Sleeping Car Murders, 1965) a highlight.

‘At the 1966 Cannes Film Festival, Trintignant was the star of three films on show: Le Dix-Septième Ciel (Seventeenth Heaven), La Longue Marche (The Long March), and Claude Lelouch’s Un Homme et une femme (A Man and a Woman). The last of these won the Palme d’Or and became a huge global success. Trintignant, who comes from a family of celebrated racing drivers, was perfectly cast as the widowed driver who learns to love again, and the film made him an international star.

‘Despite his fame, Trintignant refused to play it safe, choosing to work on offbeat pictures like Alain Robbe-Grillet’s Trans-Europ-Express (1966), and Safari diamants (Safari Diamonds, 1966). Though he did join the all-star cast of René Clément’s World War II epic Paris brûle-t-il? (Is Paris Burning?).

‘Returning to Italy, Trintignant worked on two pop psychedelic giallo movies, Col cuore in gola (I Am What I Am, 1967) and La morte ha fatto l’uovo (Death Laid an Egg, 1968) before turning in an enigmatic performance as a mute gunslinger in the cult Spaghetti western Il grande silenzio (The Great Silence, 1968).

‘In the same period, he continued his association with French New Wave directors, working with Robbe-Grillet again on the enigmatic L’Homme qui ment (The Man Who Lied, 1968), with Claude Chabrol on the sexually charged Les Biches (Bad Girls, 1968), and with Eric Rohmer on the brilliantly conceived morality tale Ma nuit chez Maud (My Night With Maud, 1969).

‘Trintignant’s next major role was as an idealistic young lawyer in Costa-Gavras’ political thriller Z (1969). Based on events surrounding the assassination of democratic Greek politician Gregoris Lambrakis in 1963, the film won plaudits around the world and a clutch of awards, including the Oscar for best foreign film.

‘The following year, Trintignant gave perhaps his greatest performance in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Il Conformista (The Conformist, 1970) as Marcello Clerici, a guilt-ridden, cowardly fascist who has spent his whole life accommodating others so that he can “belong”. Clerici is a brilliantly detailed creation, his studied self-conscious movements and impassive expression hiding a murky past.

‘Teaming up again with Lelouch, Trintignant portrayed a nihilistic but debonair professional thief in Le Voyou (The Crook, 1970), then crossed over to the other side of the law to play a detective in Sans mobile apparent (Without Apparent Motive, 1971). Next, he was a French fugitive in Canada who gets involved in a kidnap plot in René Clément’s La course du lièvre à travers les champs (…and Hope to Die, 1972), and a French assassin in Los Angeles in Jacques Deray’s Un homme est mort (A Man is Dead, 1972).

‘In 1973, the actor made his directorial debut with Une journée bien remplie (A Full Day’s Work), then starred in Défense de savoir (Forbidden To Know, 1973), directed by his wife, Nadine Trintignant. Later that year he starred opposite Romy Schneider in the romantic World War II drama Le Train (The Last Train, 1973), as a Frenchman who falls in love with a German Jewish woman who is fleeing the Nazis.

‘Trintignant’s talent for portraying twisted, psychopathic characters was shown to great effect in Glissements progressifs du plaisir(Successive Slidings of Pleasure, 1974) as a policeman interrogating a woman suspected of being a witch, in Le Mouton enragé (Love at the Top, 1974) as a timid bank clerk turned rapist, in Le Secret (1974) as paranoid prisoner on the run, and in Flic Story (Cop Story, 1975) as a cold blooded murderer.

‘Always prolific, Trintignant kept up a heavy workload in the 1970s, appearing in sixteen films in just three years between 1975 and 1977. In 1978, he won acclaim as a bank employee standing up against corruption in the César-winning L’Argent des autres (Dirty Money). After several undistinguished features, he then starred opposite Fanny Ardent in Francois Truffaut’s last picture, film noir homage Vivement dimanche! (Confidentially Yours, 1983). The same year he made his English language debut in Roger Spottiswoode’s Under Fire.

‘In the 1980s Trintignant took on an increasingly diverse range of roles, from a theatre director putting on a production of Romeo and Juliet in Andre Téchiné’s erotic drama Rendez-vous (1985), to a secret service agent investigating infiltration in the black comedy Le Moustachu (The Field Agent, 1987), to a reformed alcoholic in La Femme de ma vie (The Women of My Life, 1986), to the bald headed Mr Holm in the visionary science-fiction movie, Bunker Palace Hôtel (1989).

‘In more recent years, the actor’s most widely seen performance came in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s arthouse hit Trois couleurs: Rouge (Three Colours: Red, 1994), as the disillusioned retired judge who spies on his neighbours while grappling with his own inner moral dilemmas. This was followed by his role as the older version of Mathieu Kassovitz’s character in the equally acclaimed Un Héros très discreet (A Self-Made Hero, 1996). Since then, Trintignant has worked less frequently in cinema, preferring to work in the theatre.’ — New Wave Film





Jean-Louis Trintignant @ IMDb
Jean-Louis Trintignant : “Je suis un acteur qui réfléchit. Je serais plutôt un acteur type chat”
Jean-Louis Trintignant : “Je crois beaucoup plus à la personnalité du metteur en scène qu’à l’histoire”
15 ans après Vilnius, la souffrance intacte de Jean-Louis Trintignant
Jean-Louis Trintignant et Daniel Mille à Radio France
Claude Lelouch : «J’ai réussi à convaincre Jean-Louis Trintignant et Anouk Aimée»
Jean-Louis Trintignant et Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Louis Trintignant : “C’est un bonheur de travailler avec Michael Haneke”
Trintignant, atteint d’un cancer, arrête le cinéma : «Je ne me bats pas. Je laisse faire»



Jean-Louis Trintignant “je ne ferai plus de théâtre et moins de cinéma”

Jean-Louis Trintignant “c’est intéressant de repartir à zéro”

Jean-Louis Trintignant “On n’est pas obligé de passer à la télé”

Rencontre avec Jean-Louis Trintignant




Why did you grow tired of cinema?

JLT: I’m a theatre actor. I think actors really get a lot more out of the theatre than cinema. Also I think there’s no one at the moment like Bergman and Fellini. The satisfaction of coming back to do Amour was mostly for the director. He’s the best in the world right now.

What attracted you to work with him?

I immediately wanted to do a film with him after I watched his movie Caché (Hidden). I’ve since seen all his other films.

Can you compare working with him to working with Eric Rohmer, your director on My Night at Maud’s (1969)?

Rohmer and Haneke share the same approach to music in films. They both like music to be integral to the scene and not added. Hitchcock and many American directors use music to heighten the action. Though, Haneke is more of a complete filmmaker. Rohmer was less of a perfectionist and knew less about all the different aspects of cinema, whereas Haneke knows about the lighting, the camera and directing the actors. He’s really got a handle on everything that’s going on.

Certain critics regard Bernardo Bertolucci’s fascist era movie The Conformist (1970) to be the best film ever made. What do you think?

When the critics say I’m good, I always agree and when they say I’m bad, I don’t agree. [Laughs] Joking aside, I recognise that critics are often right about many things and I have to agree that up until Amour, The Conformist had been the best film I’d been in. Now it’s Amour.


I think Haneke’s a better director than Bertolucci, though Bertolucci is a great director as well. I think Haneke’s the best director I’ve ever worked with and his talents go even beyond what he himself realises.

Is Haneke as demanding and exacting as reports indicate? He has a love of doing many takes.

He has that reputation but l told him I don’t like to do too many takes and he respected that. So sometimes we only did a single take and that’s wonderful for an actor.

There’s a touching scene where a pigeon flies into the apartment where your Georges character lives with his ailing wife, Anne. What did the scene represent?

The scene represents a way of expressing the love and tenderness he has for Anne. The pigeon comes in from outside and he strokes it, is kind with it. But it was a difficult scene to shoot and it took two days. I had a broken wrist and was wearing a splint and Haneke made me take it off. Many scenes were difficult because of the emotional impact too, so there was a lot of suffering. But there’s a joy that you get through suffering for a scene. I think actors are bits of masochists. It’s not just joy, but through the pain there is also pleasure and we can say that about life as well as love.

How do you stay young at heart?

It’s probably my work that keeps me young because as actors we don’t say we go to work, we say we go to play. I think very often we have the soul of a child and it keeps us young and we’re always marvelling at things. I’m fortunate to have that in me; you can’t really force that type of thing.

What could the young Jean-Louis Trintignant, who was in Cannes for Claude Lelouch’s 1966 Palme d’Or winner, A Man and A Woman, say to the actor here today?

I think I was more handsome then [chuckles] but it might be a little ridiculous to compare the two films. Haneke’s so precise and everything is written in advance, whereas Lelouch would let us improvise and all the dialogue was pretty much made up by the actors, which was a lot of fun. Then I went on to do My Night at Maud’s, which again was very precise, very written, which I also enjoyed. Basically, I don’t have one particular way I like to approach acting. I just really enjoy acting.

Did Amour draw on your love of theatre given that the action took place largely between two people in their home?

It’s true that the theatrical and sparse aspect of Haneke’s project interested me as a theatre actor. I think film actors often act too much and overdo it. There’s really no need to explain so much and Haneke understands this. For an actor, theatre is more interesting; for a director I can understand that cinema is very interesting to create. It’s the director’s vision and of course that can be beautiful when it works. There are some wonderful beautiful films, but I’d say overall we make way too many films. Out of every 1000 films there may be 50 that are interesting. In my own case, I’ve made about 130 films and probably only about 20 of them are really good and the rest of them should never have been made. But you just can’t know that beforehand. It’s like for a painter–he has the image of the painting in his head but when it comes out, maybe it’s no good in the end. Maybe you’ve just got to try it though.

Will you make more films?

Maybe, but I think not. I don’t want to make a career as a cinema actor. I want to be an actor in the theatre.

Do you favour euthanasia? At which point is a life no longer worth living?

If I knew what was on the other side then maybe I’d be able to answer that question. If I knew it was just like sleeping and it was eternal sleep then I’d go for it, but I’m just not sure.


17 of Jean-Louis Trintignant’s 142 roles

Roger Vadim …And God Created Woman (1956)
‘The astounding success of Roger Vadim’s And God Created Woman revolutionized the foreign film market and turned Brigitte Bardot into an international star. Bardot stars as Juliette, an 18-year-old orphan whose unbridled appetite for pleasure shakes up all of St. Tropez; her sweet but naïve husband Michel (Jean-Louis Trintignant) endures beatings, insults, and mambo in his attempts to tame her wild ways.’ — The Criterion Collection

the entire film


Abel Gance The Battle of Austerlitz (1960)
‘Silent-cinema genius he may well have been, but by this time in his career Abel Gance was creatively a shadow of his former self. Still, if the name of Abel Gance isn’t reason enough to rent the film, then how about a cast that includes Orson Welles, Claudia Cardinale, Michel Simon, Vittorio De Sica, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jean Marais, Jack Palance, and Leslie Caron?’ — TV Guide



Henri-Georges Clouzot L’Enfer (1964)
‘Brigitte Bardot called him “a negative being, for ever at odds with himself and the world around him”. Another actor described him as “an interfering man who wanted every actor under his control”. The man they are both describing is Henri-Georges Clouzot, one of France’s greatest film directors, whose work plumbed the depths of misanthropy, paranoia and revenge so unremittingly that it was hard not to believe he was exploring his own psyche in public. Clouzot is being brought to new audiences with a documentary about his doomed 1964 project concerning a jealous husband’s mental collapse into paranoid fantasy. Called L’Enfer (Hell), the film became a real hell for the director and everyone on set. One of L’Enfer’s problems was that Clouzot had by then become notorious as a director with a taste for violence and betrayal – and not just in his films. During the filming of La Vérité (The Truth) in 1960, he wanted Brigitte Bardot to fall asleep and drool for one scene. As you do. So he gave her some pills saying they were painkillers. They turned out to be sleeping pills. Bardot had to have her stomach pumped. Her subsequent verbal attack on him was understandable. But she was not the only actress he made suffer. Suzy Delair, who starred in the 1947 film Quai des Orfèvres, disclosed that he slapped her on set. “So what?” Delair told one interviewer. “He slapped others as well … He was tough but I’m not about to complain.”‘ — The Guardian




Claude Lelouch A Man and a Woman (1966)
‘The key to enjoying A Man and a Woman is a willingness to be swept away by its sense of romance, just as the characters themselves are. Anne and Jean-Louis only spend a brief time becoming acquainted — less than twenty-four hours, it appears — before she declares her love for him, so perhaps it’s fitting that the viewer never gets to know either of them in any great depth; even the title suggests a tale more generic than specific. “I don’t claim to be original,” Anne says while telling Jean-Louis about her late husband, Pierre (Pierre Barouh). “You meet someone, marry, have a baby. It happens all the time. What can be original is the man you love.”’ — Cinematic Scribblings



Alain Robbe-Grillet Trans-Europ-Express (1966)
‘A film director, Jean, his producer, Marc, and his assistant, Lucette, board the Trans-Europ-Express in Paris bound for Antwerp. Once in their compartment it occurs to them that the drama of life aboard the train presents possibilities for a film, and they begin to write a script about dope smuggling.’ — UniFrance



Costa-Gavras Z (1969)
‘A pulse-pounding political thriller, Greek expatriate director Costa-Gavras’s Z was one of the cinematic sensations of the late sixties, and remains among the most vital dispatches from that hallowed era of filmmaking. This Academy Award winner—loosely based on the 1963 assassination of Greek left-wing activist Gregoris Lambrakis—stars Yves Montand as a prominent politician and doctor whose public murder amid a violent demonstration is covered up by military and government officials; Jean-Louis Trintignant is the tenacious magistrate who’s determined not to let them get away with it. Featuring kinetic, rhythmic editing, Raoul Coutard’s expressive vérité photography, and Mikis Theodorakis’s unforgettable, propulsive score, Z is a technically audacious and emotionally gripping masterpiece.’ — The Criterion Collection



Eric Rohmer My Night at Maud’s (1969)
‘In the brilliantly accomplished centerpiece of Rohmer’s “Moral Tales” series, Jean-Louis Trintignant plays Jean-Louis, one of the great conflicted figures of sixties cinema. A pious Catholic engineer in his early thirties, he lives by a strict moral code in order to rationalize his world, drowning himself in mathematics and the philosophy of Pascal. After spotting the delicate, blonde Françoise at Mass, he vows to make her his wife, although when he unwittingly spends the night at the apartment of the bold, brunette divorcée Maud, his rigid ethical standards are challenged. A breakout hit in the United States, My Night at Maud’s was one of the most influential and talked-about films of the decade.’ — The Criterion Collection




Bernardo Bertolucci The Conformist (1970)
‘Bertolucci made The Conformist in 1970, shortly after disagreeing with his mentor Godard over the revolutionary politics of 1968; the phone number Marcello dials to contact Quadri was Godard’s number in Paris, as if Bertolucci were placing the older director inside the struggle and himself in a contemplative position outside. In fact, all Bertolucci’s work, right through to the dramatic last scene of The Dreamers, is concerned with the often murky relationship between private life and political commitment. But maybe exactly as The Conformist addresses existential issues, it also begins to say something interesting about fascism: for example, that life is so baffling in its comedy and beauty that there will always be those desperate to stamp order on it; or alternatively that fascism, unlike nazism, was often more of a dream of decisive action than the thing itself. Either way (or neither), with its visual, textual and symbolic density, its music sliding from sinister to vaudeville, and its plot ever more impenetrable as it accelerates towards the violent denouement, The Conformist remains a hugely entertaining conundrum. I ask for nothing better of a film.’ — The Guardian




Alain Robbe-Grillet Successive Slidings of Pleasure (1974)
‘A cult erotic drama from the perverse imagination of Alain Robbe-Grillet (Last Year at Marienbad, Trans-Europ-Express), SUCCESSIVE SLIDINGS OF PLEASURE delves into the twisted mind of a young woman (Anicee Alvina) suspected in the stabbing death of her roommate Nora (Olga Georges-Picot, Love and Death). Imprisoned in a convent, the girl’s seductive wiles hypnotize the cops and clerics that surround her. All submit to her sexual whims, and are drawn into a sado-masochistic world where fantasy and reality are pleasurably blurred. This devilishly entertaining trip into deviance is made even more alluring by the special appearances of Jean- Louis Trintigant, Michael Lonsdale and Isabelle Huppert.’ — kino lorber



Jacques Deray Flic Story (1975)
‘Borniche (Alain Delon) has three difficult tasks before him: to keep a rein on police violence, to cut through bureaucratic red tape in order to do his job, and to find Buisson (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and put him behind bars. Based on a true story which takes place in 1947, Buisson is a psychopath who enjoys finding excuses for blowing people to oblivion while ostensibly just robbing them. In his deranged way, Buisson achieves some kind of harmony with Borniche and the police.’ — RT



François Truffaut Confidentially Yours (1983)
‘It seemed fitting while also tragic to think that Confidentially Yours is Francois Truffaut’s final film. It takes inspiration from the noir-thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock and blends them to Truffaut’s particular sensibilities, bringing forth a film that succeeds in its homage while also ensuring a layer of self-awareness to be palpable in its storytelling, a French New Wave personality that allows such a story to have fun with its audience.’ — feedingbrett



Claude Lelouch Partir revenir (1985)
‘Salomé Lerner just finished writing an autobiograpy. She goes to a TV show called “Apostrophes”, hosted by French TV showman Bernard Pivot. Pivot then imagines a film that could be created from her gripping story. A film entirely made of music because after seeing the young pianist Erik Berchot, Salomé believes seeing her long lost brother, who was a musician as well. A brother she had lost along with her parents in 1943. However, the Lerners did in fact escape the gestapo and might have based themselves in Paris…’ — IMDb



André Téchiné Rendez-vous (1985)
Rendez-vous (1985) was co-written and directed by André Téchiné. It’s a vehicle for the now-famous Juliette Binoche. Juliette Binoche, at age 21, already radiated the star power that became apparent to everyone in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.” Unfortunately, her contributions to this film were pretty much limited to her luminous skin and her distinctive beauty. This distinctive beauty is fully and totally displayed. (Binoche is not shy.) The film involves four men who swirl around Binoche like the proverbial moths around a flame. One is a wimp, one is a creep, and one carries a straight razor. (Don’t ask). The fourth is Jean-Louis Trintignant. The other three were all young, and were probably happy to work with a well-known director like Téchiné. One can only guess why an established star like Trintignant accepted this role.’ — IMDb



Krzysztof Kieślowski Three Colors: Red (1994)
‘This boldly cinematic trio of stories about love and loss, from Krzysztof Kieślowski was a defining event of the art-house boom of the 1990s. The films are named for the colors of the French flag and stand for the tenets of the French Revolution—liberty, equality, and fraternity—but that hardly begins to explain their enigmatic beauty and rich humanity. Set in Paris, Warsaw, and Geneva, and ranging from tragedy to comedy, Blue, White, and Red (Kieślowski’s final film) examine with artistic clarity a group of ambiguously interconnected people experiencing profound personal disruptions. Marked by intoxicating cinematography and stirring performances by such actors as Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Irène Jacob, and Jean-Louis Trintignant, Kieślowski’s Three Colors is a benchmark of contemporary cinema.’ — The Criterion Collection




Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet The City of Lost Children (1995)
‘A beautifully unsettling fairy tale brought to life before your very eyes. Childlike in its simplicity and masterful in its subtlety. Eerily sepia and rusted landscapes filled with wildly memorable characters with names like “The Octopus” “The Cult of Cyclops” “One” and “The Diver”. A visual treat of matte paintings, marvelous set design, practical machines, early cgi, fisheye lens, all within a unique and frightening world. The perfect dark fairytale for burgeoning young fantasy/sci-fi fans. Avant-Garde Expressionism through a child’s eyes.’ — Kaijuman



Patrice Chereau Those Who Love Me Can Take The Train (1998)\
‘“Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train” is a cinematically vivid and emotionally draining ensembler that makes the average Woody Allen film seem like a picnic for the well-adjusted. Helmer Patrice Chereau has his distinguished thesps do everything except tie themselves to the tracks as their characters travel via train to the funeral of a painter. An enthusiastic local reception seems assured, but crix and auds beyond France will be sharply divided on the merits of so much overwrought soul-searching by not-terribly-pleasant people. But those who do clamber aboard for Chereau’s seventh feature are in for a technically dazzling widescreen trip.’ — Variety



Michael Haneke Amour (2012)
‘The title is a challenge: not ironic, not celebratory, and yet somehow not complicated either. “Love” is boiled down to something elemental, something like survival, or perhaps the exact opposite, though calling it L’Amour might have been to risk a pun. This is Michael Haneke’s second Palme d’Or winner and shows the director as a film-maker of incomparable seriousness and weight, and this is a passionate, painful, intimate drama to be compared with Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage. When I first saw Amour, I wrote that Haneke’s severity and mastery resounded like an orchestral chord – an idea which I now realise was indirectly inspired by the opening of the Schubert Impromptu being played in the opening scene’s piano recital. That severity in Haneke’s movies had in the past an edge of sadism, to both his characters and audiences. It appears to have lessened a little in recent years, and arguably lessens here. His characters are closer to ordinary sympathetic humanity, with ordinary foibles and absurdities. But there is no question of Haneke softening. The deliberate chill, the measure of liquid nitrogen, is still there.’ — The Guardian




Michael Haneke Happy End (2017)
‘In his ensemble family drama Happy End, Michael Haneke imagines a kind of alternate-world version of the 2012 earnest heartbreaker Amour, which won him the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In this new world, the widowed Georges (again played by Jean-Louis Trintignant) is even older. He’s forgetful, bitter and wishing for death, where in Amour, he was (spoiler) the bringer of merciful release for his ailing wife. While the characters of Happy End are mostly from Amour and the storyline almost a continuation of where the earlier film left off (after the death of Georges’s wife), the most disparate element is tone. It is as though the Funny Games director resented how much adulation the relatively sweet and thoughtful Amour received and said, “You think you know what death is? I’ll show you what death is. It’s senseless and void of feeling or meaning.”’ — Westword






p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Wasn’t there someone who was assisting with getting your book published? ** _Black_Acrylic, That’s interesting, I hadn’t heard the term ‘dogging’. In the US that term means something vaguely related but not sexual necessarily. Fingers crossed re: your tutor’s feedback. What about you and any other of the students you felt a connection with forming a little regular workshop on your own? ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Hm, perhaps, about it being a Japanese thing. Yes, I’ve heard much the same about the new Jenkins film from virtually everyone I know who’s seen it. I have heard Jordaan Mason, yes. It interested me, although I haven’t seemed to have investigated very far. You do make the work sound investigate-able, so I’ll make a note to do that. Thanks, man. ** Nik, Hi Nik! Glad you liked the post. Yeah, right? Well, the majority of the interesting and fruitful work at least, for me. I sort of swear by the plan of pushing into the unknown every time I start writing something and, as I said, not expecting myself to get there or necessarily even close in the first draft. No, I think your idea sounds really interesting, not corny in the slightest. I don’t think any idea is corny in and of itself. I think the right prose and tone and so on can do anything. Changing perspective is an interesting challenge. Tough, for me at least, but super effective if/once figured out. Shifting perspectives can give a piece, or, I guess, the reader/reading experience, really terrific energy. You weren’t rambly at all. I’m a process junkie. That stuff’s manna to me. Oh, yes, Ann Lauterbach, very good poet, how terrific. I think studying with Peggy Ahwesh would be fascinating, of course. Her new film ‘The Falling Sky’ is in my fave films of 2018 list. Cool possibility. I have to really buckle down on the TV script this week and for the next while because it needs to be turned in by Xmas. Otherwise, maybe see some art, a film. Also working out the details some upcoming PGL screenings. But mostly, overwhelming, script work. How your week looking? ** Kurtzton, Nice saying by your grandad. That’s a goodie. I think the only time I ever followed someone to the bathroom was a guy who slipped me a note that read ‘follow me to the bathroom’ on his way there and who was very followable. I do miss cocaine sometimes. Lively? I’m glad to hear that because I feel like a bit like a loose object on the deck of a ship in high seas. Snow, sigh. Have a bon(e) one. ** Alistair, Hi, Alistair! So good to see you, buddy! Things are all right, overworked re: work I’m not that excited to be doing, but you know how that goes. Rain and cold in Venice! That’s like a bit of heaven on earth right there. Great that you’re into the new novel! That’s great news! Krasznahorkai’s ‘War and War’ … no, I don’t think I even know of it. I’ll do a hunt today. Thanks a lot! Oh, we (Zac and me) will be hosting a big screening of ‘Permanent Green Light’ in LA in early February. I don’t know the specifics yet, but obviously I would love for you to see it (and to see you) if you’ll be around. News forthcoming. Take care, pal! ** Kai, Hi, Kai! Cool timing then. Oh, I miss Tokyo. Zac and I are angling to get there early next year, I hope, I hope. Wait, seeing you reminds me that Ishmael never got back to me about the video of ‘Them’. Shit, sorry, do you still want it? I can harass him, and I’m happy to. I haven’t seen comments by you, it’s true. Weird. I never look back at the comments on previous posts, though, which is a failing, so maybe your comments came in too late for me? I need to start looking backwards. Usually comments register but the commenters sometimes can’t see them. Anyway … Excellence itself to see you! ** Misanthrope, Hi. Well, a fuel tax is one way to rectify the problem. The issue is that Macron did that without asking anything of the oil companies, car makers, and other corporate types, putting the entire burden on the citizens. And an added issue is that, some years ago, the government created incentives for people to buy diesel cars, and now the government is punishing people who did that. It’s very complicated. Big discussions at the parliamentary and other governmental levels about how to deal with climate change in a fair way are now going on here. We’ll see. But, like I said, the anger here is about a lot more than the fuel tax. Macron’s policies are extremely unpopular across the board. Either he’s going to have to give in and change his plans, or there’s a real chance that he’ll be driven out of office. It’s a very tricky time here right now. Oh, jeez, LPS strikes again. It really doesn’t look good, does it? I don’t know what the solution is. Like I said, he may be one of those guys who needs to bottom out to get real, and that’s a shame. ** Damien Ark, Hi, Damien. Yeah, seems odd that that book has gone so o.o.p. since it seems like such an easy thing to sell. I don’t think I’ve been in the Castro proper in, what, 10 years, 15 years? I was never that excited by that area, or by gay enclave areas of cities in general, so, unfortunately, I have no idea what it’s like now compared to how it was. Maybe … Everyone, Does anyone here have thoughts on what the Castro district of SF is like these days to pass along to the soon-to-be visiting Damien? Thanks if so. Sucks that PGL and you won’t coincide there. Hopefully somewhere else. Have a good day, man. ** Right. I’ve devoted a post to the great French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant, who, as you’ve seen or will, has been in a rather astounding number of either great films or films by great directors. Quite the career. Check it out. See you tomorrow.


  1. David Ehrenstein

    Scott Timberg was giving me some advice on publishing “Raised By Hand Puppets” but nothing has panned out yet.

    Jean_Louis Trintignant is in my unhumble estimation The Greatest Actor in The History of the Cinema. His work with Robbe-Grillet, Rohmer and Haneke is exemplary and he stars in The Greatest Motion Picture Ever Made.

    Trintignant is incredibly beautiful and deeply mysterious. His performances invariably reward repeated viewings.

  2. Steve Erickson

    Trintingant’s a great actor, who’s made impressive work from the ’60s to the present. He seems to be playing Robbe-Grillet’s alter ego or some projection of his fantasies in several of that writer/director’s films. I like the fact that Robbe-Grillet was frank enough that his character in TRANS EUROPE EXPRESS buys BDSM porn about a minute into the film.

    RIP Pete Shelley. In a lot of ways, the Buzzcocks seem like the most modern class of ’77 punk bands; they queered the “Beach Boys through a blown-out speaker” formula of the Ramones and opened up spaces that artists with no direct sonic connection to punk are still exploring. I’m listening to A DIFFERENT KIND OF TENSION (their best album which isn’t a singles collection, reissued 10 years ago in a 130-minute version with B-sides, demos and a Peel session) as I type this.

  3. _Black_Acrylic

    RIP Pete Shelley

    Re the short story course, we got an email today saying there’ll be a “continuation course” starting in Feb/March next year. Plus there’s talk of a publication of class stories, and we’re waiting on an estimate for that. So it seems there’s a definite will out there to keep it going.

  4. WompKeatonAloumomb

    Haha thanks, the best part about it was he gave me some cool Nazi stuff when he died. It gave me like this link with history. Hehe me and my crush used to meet in the bathroom and lock the door. Haha, Im straight-edge these days, but they should put it in the water. “There’s some weird guy rolling around on the deck, captain. Ey, did you tell ’em theres no storm!” jk. Hehe, most interesting one on the sea Ive recently was by Jacobs who wrote the Monkeys Paw, a guy falls off a ship. He climbs back on it. He dont look right and he dont talk right but its the same guy. Or wait, what about the guy who escaped the Titanic and ended up on the Lusatania? I feel like a grown up. May a thousand joys pass your way. I know some of this guys films. Puts on Vaurnets and straps on Widow bass. “Satan…Santa…Satan…Santa…”

  5. Nik

    Hey D.,

    Wow, this guys been in some greats, none that I’ve seen yet though. I’ve still only scratched the surface when it comes to Grillet’s work, I’ve only read Jealousy and Golden Triangle and watched Marienbad, but they’ve all had a huge effect on me. Would L’Homme qui ment or Trans-Europ Express be good starting points for watching his movies?
    I feel very lucky with this one so far in that it’s coming out as something not radically far from what I’m going for, but also what I’m going for is slippery and changing a lot with this one, so who knows. I totally agree about nothing being inherently corny, so much of the art I love is hard to explain to friends because it sounds strange or trite when summarized. Glad the concept doesn’t ring that way. Yeah, for the first draft I’m not going to worry too much about changing the voice too radically for the shifting perspectives for the first draft, that will definitely be more of an editing thing. Technically the draft is due Friday, but since it’s just sharing a google doc with a couple of students who won’t read it until next Tuesday I feel like I have time to get at least a decent draft done.
    Hard work on the TV script, oof. Do you feel like Xmas is enough time to get it to a good place? It know that the parameters are a total pain in the ass, but are you seeing it come together in a way? That kind of thing can be kinda elusive for me, especially when it’s something that’s ultimately made to be spoken by actors and filmed, but I’m just curious.
    Also, did you hear the new Xiu Xiu single? I think it might be your kind of thing. I really love the band and know you have some sort of connection with them, and this single is definitely the most interesting thing they’ve done in a while.
    Good luck with your script!!

  6. Alistair

    Dennis, that’s awesome about the PGL showing in LA. Am definitely around in Feb, though hopefully fingers crossed the screening isn’t on Feb 5th, as I have to host a university reading that night. Would be great to see the movie and you, its been way too long.

    War and War is pretty interesting, kind of like a more action oriented Thomas Bernhard.

    Your Jean Louis Trintignant day made me really happy. His acting technique in the Conformist was something I was thinking about writing the Disintegrations. Seeing this today made me think about keeping mining that in the new book. Hugs xo

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