DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Luc Moullet Day *

* (restored)

 

‘Many of you, perhaps most, have never heard of Luc Moullet. So much the better. Not all news gets into newspapers, and not all movies get into theaters. The sculptor Paul Thek once proposed an interesting solution to the newspaper problem to me: Get rid of all of them, except for one edition of one daily paper (any would do), and pass this precious object from hand to hand for the next hundred years –- then the news might mean something.

‘Living, as we do, in a time and culture where cinema is becoming an increasingly occupied and colonized country — a state of affairs in which a few privileged marshmallows get saturation bookings all over creation while a host of challenging alternative choices languish in obscurity –- the need for legends has seldom been quite so pressing. Such are the established channels nowadays that even avant-garde films come to the viewer, if at all, in a form that is almost invariably pre-selected and pre-defined, with all the price tags and catalogue descriptions neatly in place. Given the need for legends that might gnaw at the superstructures of these official edifices, the adventurous filmgoer has few places to turn. Even in specialized magazines, one is most often prone to find duplications of the choices available elsewhere; and unless one lives in a megalopolis, the mere existence of most interesting films today is bound to seem almost fanciful and irrelevant.

‘Within this impossible setup, one is obliged to construct a pantheon largely out of rumor and hearsay: at one big state university, stories still circulate about the one time that a few students got to see half an hour of Rivette’s 252-minute Out 1: Spectre.

‘Needing an emblem, agent provocateur, and exemplary scapegoat for a legendary cinema that by all rights should be infinite and expanding, I nominate the figure of Luc Moullet, patron saint of the avant-garde B film. Whether or not anyone chooses to second the motion is beside the point. …

‘“Our Jarry,” Rivette calls him. And when I asked Straub in Edinburgh two years ago which contemporary filmmakers he admired, he cited Mizoguchi, Ford, Renoir, Lang, Godard … and then Luc Moullet: “I am willing to defend him until next year — things can change — even against all those who accuse him of being a fascist, which he is not. He’s the most important filmmaker of the French post-Godard generation…especially for Les contrebandières more than for the other two.” …

‘Manny Farber — whose termite category could have been invented for LM — asked me a couple of months ago how formal analysis could account for the tenderness Straub displays towards the young waiter in Not Reconciled; I asked in turn how a proper formal analysis could avoid it. It would seem, from the available evidence, that LM has shown a comparable tenderness towards everyone he’s ever filmed, and yes, Virginia, this is “work on the signifier”. It’s the signified of commercial cinema that gets short-changed in The Smugglers — not its production of meaning, which is indicated in virtually every shot. This makes some people angry because they want to forget they’re at the movies. LM starts with the assumption that you want to be there.

‘Nevertheless, at one time or another, LM’s films have defeated distributors, exhibitors, spectators, even projectors. At Filmex in Los Angeles last March, people who arrived to see Anatomie d’un rapport — not very many — were essentially informed that the 16 mm projector refused to contend with the film, and those who wanted to see it had to come back the following day. When I returned, along with an even smaller group of people, the projector grudgingly complied this time, but not without a couple of spiteful breakdowns. Every time I’ve seen Les contrebandières, the projector has obstinately refused to keep all of the image in focus at the same time; the gate usually seems to shudder and flinch at the very prospect.

‘Maybe cameras rebel against LM’s cinema too; consider the awfulness of that still I cited from Les contrebandières. I wonder if the breakdown in representation implied by it may, after all, be a fair indication of what his films are all about: not a breakdown of the people and things represented, but of the sort of guff that money and idealism dress them up with. All I know is that the longer I look at that still, the more it inspires me. Like the best of LM’s cinema, it is priceless — language that isn’t theft, because it takes nothing from anyone, but offers, rather, a gift that anyone can have. If anyone will let us have it.’ — Jonathan Rosenbaum

 

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Stills
















































 

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Further

Luc Moullet @ IMDb
Luc Mouleet @ New Wave Film
‘LUC MOULLET CINÉASTE CRITIQUE DE LA RAISON COMIQUE’
‘Filmmaker, Film Critic, Enfant Terrible. Luc Moullet offers his thoughts on cinema past and present.’
Luc Moullet @ Senses of Cinema
‘Luc Moullet and Parpaillon’s Pataphysical Theatre’
‘Luc Moullet : “J’aime la manière dont mon frère, assez primitif de nature, découpe son steak”’
Interview with Luc Moullet by John Hughes and Bill Krohn
Luc Moullet @ France Culture
‘Luc Moullet tracks the Origins of a Meal’
Video: Tracks: Luc Moullet – Poulidor du cinéma français’
‘Est-ce que ta grand mère fait du vélo?’
‘Seven Comedies: The Films of Luc Moullet’
Luc Moullet interviewed @ VICE (France)
‘Luc Moullet’s 10 favorite films 1957-1968’
‘L’HISTOIRE DU CINÉMA D’ANIMATION VU PAR LUC MOULLET’
‘Portrait(s) de Luc Moullet’

 

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Rockefeller’s Melancholy
Luc Moullet on Michelangelo Antonioni

 

Drifting is the fundamental subject of Antonioni’s films. They are about beings who don’t know where they are going, who constantly contradict themselves, and are guided by their momentary impulses. We don’t understand what they feel or why they act as they do.

Psychological cinema could be defined in this way: it is psychological when you don’t understand the motivation of emotions and behaviors. If you understand, it means it’s easy, immediately, at a very superficial level… The filmmaker must therefore let it be supposed that there are a pile of mysterious, secret, deep, and unlimited motivations, as much in the characters as in the filmmaker (who maybe doesn’t exist). You can ramble on at your leisure about them (cf. the bottle of spilled ink in L’avventura, the tennis game in Blow Up). It’s a way of bluffing the viewer, particularly noticeable throughout L’avventura and La notte, which is very National Enquirer (or Us Weekly, or Star, or People), dignified by an Edward Hopper emulator.

Drifting reveals two facets, one that is positive, one that is negative. First, the positive: it directs the film towards an unusual and surprising elsewhere. It’s the road movie (Zabriskie Point, The Passenger, L’avventura). The beginning of that last film is centered on the couple of Léa Massari/Ferzetti, and then on the disappearance of Massari who will be looked for in vain, very slowly and boringly, by the new—rather disappointing—couple of Ferzetti/Monica Vitti, and then on a semi-documentary and off-topic (but is there even a topic?) stroll through Sicily that, after an hour and a half of yawns, gives us the best (or the least bad) part of the film: the piercing gazes of the men on Monica Vitta alone in a small village square, the flirtation with the maid on the train, the prostitute’s press conference, Vitti imitating the bellboy, suddenly singing and dancing, passages that I am maybe overestimating because they happen after 100 very monotonous minutes. This kind of drifting film – a backpacker’s, a wanderer’s cinema – will come back later in Two Lane Blacktop (Hellman), The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (Cassavetes) and Wenders’ Kings of the Road, with the frequent submission to chance – natural and organized—that is equally present in Blow Up. This path will also be found in The Passenger, Identification of a Woman, and L’eclisse, objects in that film definitively replacing the protagonists in a revolutionary ending that happily gives a new twist to a film until then filled with drunks and common places (especially about the stock exchange).

The other facet is more negative. Since drifting is a way of fighting against boredom, it leads to a new form of boredom, inevitably found as soon as the center of the film is lost. Films about boredom are inevitably annoying. An inherent problem in filmmakers’ activities, one that is a vicious circle, is that, in order to make films, you have to be rich or, if not, you have to very quickly become rich. So, filmmakers only know the problems of the well-off, cutting them off from the reality of the masses and diminishing the reach of their oeuvre. But, after all, Rockefeller’s melancholy is a human reality to which it is only normal to bring attention. It’s something. It brings us back to an ancestral conception of art, one that was fundamental until around 1850. It is the expression of noble souls, men of noble births, excluding the mediocre spiritual life of the proletariat. Going back to it (Il grido) seems like a displacement of very artificial problems.

And when one is rich, one has everything—money, work (if one still needs to work in order to live), and love. What more can one hope for? From this comes the boredom, depression, and melancholy that one looks to fill in by looking at other things, left and right. A cinema that is foreign to me, that aggravates me—me, who, like the majority of people, had to fight for decades to reach a summit similar to the one that Antonioni’s characters want to forget. Maybe the height of happiness is to realise one’s ambitions as late as possible, or never, in order to avoid the agony of an earthly beyond.

(cont.)

 

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Extras


LUC MOULLET: The cinema according to Luc


Essai d’ouverture: Luc Moullet


Luc Moullet, enfin cinématonné?


Questions de cinéma Luc Moullet

 

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Interview
from mubi

 

You mentioned in your introduction at Cannes that Land of Madness was initially suggested to you by Edgar Ulmer.

LUC MOULLET: Ulmer wanted to produce films by young people, and when I saw him he asked me to write something, but Ulmer had great difficulties getting his own movies produced, so this ended up not being made.

Was it originally a documentary?

MOULLET: No, it was a fiction. It was too long and too expensive. Ulmer spoke a lot without really having the power to supervise this film made by young people. I took a little part of it—10% or 5%, all about madness, this little part—and came back to the documentary way of filming, which was easier and more interesting in this case. And less costly. That gave me the idea of the title.

Did you know other directors from that era? I know you interviewed many, and Fuller you worked with.

MOULLET: Yes of course, because I was writing text for Cahiers du cinéma, and I was just beginning so I couldn’t write about great, great directors; Truffaut and Rivette spoke about them, wrote about them, so I had to concentrate on other directors who were a little forgotten or not yet known, such as Ulmer and Fuller.

And now they are associated with the New Wave and Cahiers.

MOULLET: I remember when Truffaut came to New York there was a question, “who are the best American directors?” And he said Edgar Ulmer and Samuel Fuller! Which in ’59 was rather provocative since the critic who asked the question may not have known Ulmer and saw very little of Fuller. At the time, people said Kazan, or Stevens, or Zinnemann.

That’s our cinema of quality. Now not very many people of our generation watch those films any more. They are underappreciated, almost, because of their reputation for being overblown. I was very startled to see this area of France on film. The landscapes here look like many of the landscapes I see in your movies, and it occurs to me that A Girl is a Gun could have been shot in your backyard. It was interesting to see the land that exists in your fiction films take such a vivid place in your documentary.

MOULLET: There are certain landscapes for fantasies like a western film and for a true story for murder and madness, which we can see here.

There’s something really romantic about your films, which I like. They have a reputation for being austere in a way, because they deliver facts, but there’s something really romantic about the landscapes.

MOULLET: It certainly is a romantic landscape, and these are ugly stories in a romantic landscape—it’s an interesting contradiction. You could say the same about Wuthering Heights, a very beautiful landscape and a certain kind of madness. I think it might be the same as in West Virginia!

Do you look for inspiration in films that you love?

MOULLET: Yes, of course. I wrote many films about American movies, I made a book about Vidor’s The Fountainhead, and there are some influences, some borrowings from The Fountainhead in A Girl is a Gun, from Hitchcock in Brigitte and Brigitte. In Brigitte and Brigitte there’s a girl who has some difficulties finding a secret dictionary in her closet during an exam, and this was made after the end of Strangers on a Train, looking for his lighter—things like that. There’s a borrowing from The Whispering Chorus by DeMille in Le prestige de la mort; it’s a bit of a similar story. There are many things I borrow from American cinema, always in a different context because Brigitte and Brigitte is a comedy and Strangers on a Train is a suspense film. It’s always better to take things from other genres because then nobody sees them…unless I speak to you about them! There are some borrowings from Moonfleet in my short, The Milky Way.

You wrote a book in 1995 called Politique des acteurs—Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Cary Grant, James Stewart, which unfortunately, like much of your criticism, has not yet been translated into English. Could you talk a little bit about why you wrote the book, and what you say in it?

MOULLET: Actors are very important to good authorship, especially in the comical field (Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Raymond Griffith, Linder, Tati, Fields, Marx Brothers). Who remembers the official directors of their films, Clyde Bruckman, James Horne, Donald Crisp? I chose to write a book about actors because Truffaut always told me it was the most difficult thing to do, to write about actors. I liked this challenge. Before, almost nobody wrote seriously about actors.

Speaking of material unavailable in English, it is quite dismaying to see your work receive so little attention in the United States in terms of distribution. For someone unable to see most of your films, what have you been up to since the early 1970s?

MOULLET: I can tell you that I worked in many of the usual genres, comedy, western, erotic film, murder film, sociologic documentary, copying (or try to copy) the career of Hawks.

How do you see your filmmaking changing over this period?

MOULLET: I don’t know what difference one can find between a film I made in 1960 and a film I directed in 2006. Maybe there are less puns.

In the U.S. the French New Wave is almost exclusively associated with a very small group of Cahiers du cinéma critic-filmmakers—Godard, Rivette, Truffaut, Rohmer, and Chabrol. Again, due mostly to issues of distribution, access, and translation, we have seen little from other contemporaneous filmmakers and Cahiers writers such as yourself, Jacques Donoil-Valcroze, and Fereydoun Hoveyda.

MOULLET: My films have less success than those of Godard and Truffaut because I do not have their genius. I was a follower to them, a groupie, a fan. And all those who came after the Big Five of the New Wave had great difficulties during their—I mean Hanoun, Pollet, me, Eustache, Vecchiali, Straub, Rozier, Garrel. The audience had enough with the Big Five. We came too late, some months after, but it was too late.

To my knowledge, unlike many of your Cahiers critic-filmmaker colleagues you still remain active as a critic. How do you see your criticism changing since your earlier days? Do you see a difference between the way you worked as a critic-filmmaker during the first years of your career as a moviemaker and now?

MOULLET: To write an article about a film and to do a documentary, that’s the same work—we show a reality that does exist, a film, a factory, a town. I took the same pleasure in writing the book about Vidor’s The Fountainhead and in shooting a film about Des Moiners, The Belly of America. What difference between my film criticism of 1956 and that of today? Difficult to say. I saw more films during those years. I am less interested in giving a shock to my audience. My analysis is more precise—I presume—and I am more fair with the films. Now I try to find the truth while writing my texts, and I no more try to impose a truth, a message before writing an article. The first years in criticism, we often to tried to impose aggressive judgments. After, all that is over.

 

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11 of Luc Moullet’s 36 films

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Brigitte et Brigitte (1966)
Brigitte et Brigitte is a 1966 French feature-length film written and directed by Cahiers du cinéma film critic Luc Moullet. Two girls meet accidentally at the station as they come from their oppositely remote small villages. It seems they have patterned themselves against the same model as they are identical in every respect that they can be. They become roommates and go to collage, eventually studying film because it is easy. What follows are episodes, all reflective in some way on the nature of film, either explicitly or as a matter of how life is patterned by film. Eric Rohmer plays a role. What sets this apart from other new wave projects of the era is that it sits in its deep selfreference without taking itself seriously. As it happens, the identities of these girls drift apart in terms of appearance, manner, values and place in film. Its no less consequential than others of its ilk, but seems more fun in being consciously trivial. One episode, for instance has our girls doing a survey of the three best filmmakers. One Frenchman answers: Welles, Hitchcock and Jerry Lewis. Another querent gives the same answer for who are the three worst filmmakers. The joke is that he is a ten year old boy. Worse, pulls out a list with ALL filmmakers ranked in order and he tells precisely that those three are numbers 281, 282, and 283! Moullet’s debut film, Brigitte et Brigitte was praised upon release by one-time colleague Jean-Luc Godard as being a “revolutionary film.”‘ — collaged


Excerpt

 

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Les Contrebandières (1968)
‘In his follow-up to his debut feature Brigitte et Brigitte (1966), Luc Moullet further distanced himself from his Nouvelle Vague contemporaries by cocking a snook at anyone who sees revolution as an effective driver for social and political change. Moullet’s cynical view that nothing ever changes ran contrary to the thinking of other New Wave directors who, in common with a vast swathe of bourgeois intellectuals, saw revolution as not only necessary but inevitable. Jean-Luc Godard’s Week-End (1967) and Moullet’s Les Contrebandières (1968) are both wildly anarchic but their premises are diametrically opposed. Like Godard, Moullet evokes the thirst for rebellion that was rife in France in 1967/8, but his conclusion is that all that revolution achieves is to move people from one miserable, unsatisfying groove to another miserable, unsatisfying groove. Moulet’s minority view proved to be the most realistic. Ten years on from the events of May ’68, you’d be hard pressed to notice any significant change in France.’ — French Film Site


Excerpt

 

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A Girl is a Gun (1971)
‘Jean-Pierre Léaud and Rachel Kesterber star in the greatest French western ever made. Never released in France but distributed in South America in an English-language version dubbed by Moullet himself, Billy’s dark tale of lust and revenge swings wildly between a slapstick insanity and a delirious experimentation that are kith and kin with Wellman’s Yellow Sky, Vidor’s Duel in the Sun, Godard’s Week-end, and Garrel’s La cicatrice interieure. In rewriting an old saw (cinema and a girl is a gun, indeed), Moullet tackles favorite themes—time, landscape, exhaustion—with relish.’ — Harvard Film Archive


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Anatomie d’un rapport (1975)
‘”For me,” Luc Moullet wrote, “there isn’t intelligence and stupidity, but intelligence-stupidity.” A Cahiers critic who championed Samuel Fuller as an “intelligent primitive,” Moullet turned to directing well after his comrades (Godard, Truffaut, et al.), and has been playing catch-up ever since. With one exception, the movies in International House’s “5 Comic Films” showcase are emphatically unserious, teetering concatenations of moth-eaten gags splintered with Dadaist verve. Moullet has said his “main aim is to make people laugh,” but he lacks the killer instinct of a natural comedian. Even though his features typically run less than 90 minutes, they’re never rushed; for all their frenetic dislocations, they’re somehow restful. Fond of barren landscapes, blackout gags and Sisyphean slopes, Moullet is, like the Parisian rebels of May 1968, “Marxiste, tendence Groucho,” a slapstick anarchist who expresses his hostility to the modern world by refusing to take it seriously. The series’ most atypical entry is Anatomy of a Relationship (1975), co-directed with Moullet’s wife Antonietta Pizzorno. With Moullet as himself and Christine Hébert as an obvious Pizzorno stand-in, Anatomy dissects in painful detail the sexual dysfunction in its makers’ marriage.’ — Arsenevich


Excerpt


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Barres (1984)
‘Funny little short film about fare dodging in Paris with a touch of magical realism, a testament to human ingenuity and imagination used to get out of paying those couple of Francs. “My main aim is to make people laugh. For me, that’s very easy: lost between the rustic peasant world whose rituals I have forgotten and the chic Parisian world into which I have never really assimilated, I am a character who is out of place; everybody finds me comical. I only need to show up for people to laugh. So it’s not because I’ve got any great skills: I take full advantage of my situation. And this comedy factor goes beyond my personal self, stretching into whatever I care to imagine.”‘ — Luc Moullet



the entire film

 

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La comédie du travail (1987)
‘From the very beginning, film comedy focused on the world of work. From exploitation to unemployment, from adaptation to resistance, directors multiplied their points of view on survival in the modern world, especially from Chaplin on. With a humor superceding certain conventions and steering towards an eminently political dimension, Moullet follows three characters in order to build one of the blackest satires about the conflict arising from our everyday relation with work. Nobody but Luc Moullet, former witty critic of the Cahiers du Cinema, would have dared to make such a film on unemployment.’ — IMDb


Excerpt

 

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Parpaillon ou à la recherche de l’homme à la pompe Ursus d’après Alfred Jarry (1993)
‘To understand Moullet’s contribution in Parpaillon, it is perhaps not pointless to ask a question at the outset that is finally quite difficult to answer: what is a gag? Jacques Aumont and Michel Marie suggest a practical definition: ‘More narrative and often more abstract than a sketch, the gag is short in form and relatively autonomous, and in itself does not necessarily belong to film (there are theatrical, and even musical or pictorial gags). In its most general form, it is characterised by the incongruous and surprising resolution of a situation that may or may not be realistic in its premises … The gag, in most cases, is less inclined to mobilise cinematic language than body language.’ The gags created by Moullet in Parpaillon seem in perfect agreement with this definition. The fragmentary nature of the film, resulting more from a narrative aesthetic than an ‘aesthetic of attractions’ – to borrow an expression devised to explain the specificity of early cinema – favours self-sufficiency in the situations being shown, emphasising their intrinsic value as gags. Similarly, all the situations in Parpaillon, however realistic most of them might be at the outset, are pushed to their most incongruous extrapolations.’ — Rouge


Excerpt


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Toujours plus (1994)
‘Aujourd’hui les supermarchés se construisent sur l’emplacement des cinémas ou des églises. Évolution normale puisque le consumérisme est la religion du XXème siècle ; les supermarchés sont les cathédrales du futur.’ — Cinematheque Grenoble


the entire film

 

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Foix (1994)
‘C’est en 1973 que Luc Moullet fait la découverte de Foix, ville qui saute à ses yeux comme étant la plus ringarde de France. Pendant les vingt années suivantes, il garde en tête ces images de Foix qui ont impressionné sa rétine de manière indélébile, cherchant si chaque nouvelle ville qu’il visite peut, même de loin, rivaliser avec ce parangon de ringardise. Au bout de ces longues années de recherche assidue, il ne peut que conclure que Foix reste indétrônable. Désirant réaliser son hommage à la ville, il y retourne en 1994 et constate que rien n’a changé depuis cette année 73. Heureux cinéaste qui va enfin pouvoir imprimer sur pellicule ces images qui le hantent depuis deux décennies… Le principe du film est des plus simples, avec des images qui viennent contredire un discours touristique décliné imperturbablement en voix off. Le portrait est accablant. La ville est construite n’importe comment, sans aucune vue d’ensemble urbanistique, tout est empilé à la va-comme-je-te-pousse, en dépit du bon sens et bien sûr sans aucune recherche d’esthétisme. D’improbables compositions florales, des canaux inutilement tarabiscotés, des enseignes vétustes (lorsqu’il y en a, Moullet débusquant même un commerce vierge de toute inscription !) plaquées sur des façades abominables, des bâtiments d’une incommensurable laideur, des statues modernes d’une incommensurable laideur qui poussent comme des champignons… Rien n’est pensé, tout se mêle dans un fatras délirant que Moullet résume en ces termes : “La politique de l’urbanisme se fonde sur le mélange, figure mère de l’art néo foixéen.”‘ — dvdclassik.com


the entire film

 

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Le prestige de la mort (2006)
‘Whilst seeking out locations in the South of France for his next film, director Luc Moullet comes across a male corpse. He immediately decides to use this to his advantage. By swapping his passport with that of the dead man, Moullet hopes that the world will believe he is dead, thereby ensuring a renewed interest in his work. Unfortunately, the scheme backfires, since the dead man was someone rather important. The film stars Luc Moullet, Antonietta Pizzorno, Claire Bouanich, Iliana Lolitch and Gilles Guillain. It has also been released under the title: Death’s Glamour. — French Film Site


Excerpt


Excerpt

 

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La Terre de la folie (2010)
‘Originating from the southern Alps, Luc Moullet has been struck by the abnormally high incidence of mental disorder in the area. Accounts of murder, suicide and self-immolation are plentiful. In this documentary, Moullet examines the causes and consequences of these extreme psychiatric phenomena and arrives at some disturbing conclusions. The film stars Luc Moullet, Antonietta Pizzorno and Jacques Zimmer. It has also been released under the title: Land of Madness.’ — French Film Site


Trailer


Excerpt


Excerpt

 

 

*

p.s. Hey. ** Have ANiceLife, Hi. I haven’t heard the Holly Herndon track, or am spacing if I have, but I’ll listen to it today, although now I know. But still. Thanks! ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Really? That’s interesting. And I’ll read that piece on Aeon. Thanks very much. ** Misanthrope, Hi, G. Oh, wow, 35 mph, sounds fun, sorry. But I come from a land where trees largely mean palms which bend in winds ever so interestingly. Will not that guy’s domestic abuse charge help LPS? Well, 99.9% chance I’ll never see ‘Love, Simon’, but do reinforce or alter that projection. I’ve never read Peter Cameron, so I don’t know what that means. ** Bernard, Thank you kindly, B! I just made a post that includes a photo of Buckminster Fuller standing next to his bomb shelter. If you and Rick hit that 80s show, let me know how it is, or, well, how anything you guys hit is. Yeah, since you wrote what you wrote, shit has been happening over there that is causing me to join you in that fearful opinion. It does seem like an extremely treacherous moment, and I’m feeling the terror over here. The congressional Republicans are the sickest people I can ever remember living in the same world with or even imagining, which is saying something given my imagination. ** Alistair, Hi, A! I’m glad you got stuff from the post. Good, good, I’m happy you’re going to make it out there for the reading and stuff. I’m getting my travel dates arranged today and will then know how long I’ll be there, but, yeah. it should be long enough to get to see you. That would be so great! ** Steve Erickson, I’ll pop over and read or skim that ‘L,S’ review out of very mild curiosity. I assume there must some kind of celebration of St. Patricks Day in France, but it must awfully minor and culty and confined to what Irish-outreaching pubs might be around because I’ve never seen the slightest signs of it. Eddy de Pettero, yeah, he’s a huge hype over here right now. You can’t go anywhere without seeing posters and etc. advertising his album. Big French bucks behind that guy. I haven’t heard him knowingly. The vast majority of mainstream French hiphop sounds like a watered down version of what American hiphop sounded like a decade ago. Jeez, great luck re: not getting a cold. I personally don’t care one bit if Styles or Tyler are bi or gay, but good luck to those of you who do. ** Keeetahn, Good gravy. I mean about your dream. It makes me wish mine weren’t blurs. Alcohol always made me sluggish. Unless it was being drunk to mellow drug jitters. Then it made sense. When do you split? ** Jamie, Hey, hey. Cool, yeah, it brought out the stoner in me too. I sort of imagined it could turn the blog readership into dreads-sporting tokers muttering, ‘Whoa, ha ha.’ My weekend was all work, no play. Not even the zine fair was spared from my deadlining. The deadline is starting to get scarily near, and I fear I’m going to be overtaxing my brain for what will feel like forever but will not be very lengthy in fact. I’m in the groove much more than I’m in the zone, if you know what I mean. Excellence incarnate that you felt/feel your zone sweeping over you. It would be hard to describe the secret script until I can say what the secret script is for, but, if the stars align magically, I should be able to defog that project publicly this week. Yes, in fact there was a MegaMillions lottery through which someone in New Jersey won $475 million this past weekend. Can you imagine? May your Monday pour exactly the right amount of sauce onto the precise amount of your favorite pasta. Pins and needles love, Dennis. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! I know, right? I didn’t get to go the Paris Ass Book Fair, grr, because it has gotten to the point where I have so much work to do in so little time that I have to punish myself to hope to meet my deadline. Exciting that you’re going to get back into your book/project today! That is a very eerie story about that abandoned building and your near miss at being the bodies’ discoverer. Wow, I think that would have really sucked. My weekend, as I said, was just me trying to work every possible waking hour. It wasn’t a fun one. But c’est la vie as the French are supposed to say a lot but don’t actually say hardly ever at all. I hope you get to work excitedly today! Did you? ** Statictick, Thanks a bunch, N. 60, not bad. Winter has returned here for probably a brief visit, and we’re all bundled up and dodging snowflakes. ** _Black_Acrylic, Cool, thanks, Ben. Signer does someone really awesome things sometimes for sure. Great news about the Threads post! Thanks ever so much again! ** Jeff J, Thanks, Jeff. The mud fan, interesting. I thought that might get lost. Did I do a full-on James Lee Byars post? Seems very likely. I’ll forage through the archives and, assuming I did and the materials are still on my hard drive, I resurrect it. I only worked like a dog’s dog this weekend. I won’t know if there were any highlights until I find out if the project’s boss approves of what I hope were highlights. ** Kyler, That does sound windy, yes. Probably practise as much patience as you can with her. I’m imagining she has a bunch of other stuff she needs to do at the same time too. ** Okay. Since Luc Moullet is still a very interesting and under-known filmmaker, I decided to restore this longish dead post that hoped in its tiny way to help rectify that situation. See you tomorrow.


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16 Comments

  1. It’s on “Platform”, which I think was on yr 2015/2016 year end list? Maybe I’m just imagining that because it was on mine…
    Hm.

  2. Chris Cochrane

    March 19, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Good Morning, break up is bitch, Val and I just broke up yesterday after a painful weekend. It’s the right thing to do. I’m a guessing, yikes. As to my last post, Blank generation has been re-mastered, and sounds very very good. to your question, Arto Lindsey, really no one else like him on guitar, no one. the thing is amazing also is all the other music he does, whether I like it or not. It really is quite amazing that both he and Ikue Mori came out of DNA, her music is like no other either. Hope you’re well, keeping productive and not getting maddened by the “secret” project. Contracts and people are a bitch, yet life is good still, I suppose

    • I’m awfully sorry to hear this. Hope you are feeling the right-thing part more than the loss part very soon.

  3. David Ehrenstein

    March 19, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    A Chapter of my book Film: The Front Line — 1984 is devoted to Luc Moullet. J’adore “Les Contrebandieres”

    Ursula Andress is 83 today

  4. I did a list of my picks for the most underrated directors in world cinema, past and present, on Facebook a few weeks ago. Moullet completely slipped my mind, but I should’ve included him. BRIGITTE ET BRIGITTE and ANATOMY OF A RELATIONSHIP are especially brilliant.

    It only took 2 days from LOVE, SIMON’s opening for me to see predictable criticisms on social media: it shouldn’t have made its protagonist white and middle-class and white gay men who are flipping for it should support a much wider range of LGBTQ cinema. To get cynical, 20th Century Fox is only going to finance an edgier film whose protagonist is gay, black and poor if 7 films like LOVE, SIMON are made and they are all hits. The last one is actually a decent point – the much better BPM grossed something like $150,000 in the U.S. – but there’s no reason why gay men should automatically have adventurous taste in cinema or be any more open to subtitled films than the rest of an increasingly xenophobic America.

    I’m not sure if you would like de Pettero’s music, but he’s definitely not imitating mainstream American hip-hop. From what I’ve heard of French hip-hop, I agree with that description.

  5. Sorry to hear about the weekend of work, Dennis.

    The John Kelly performance wasn’t a solo, but a collaboration with Michele Handelmann. I was running around too much that day, and didn’t get to it. Chrome was fun, though I’m really not into sitting through mediocre opening bands in a cold space these days.

    Will check out Moullet soon…

    Bill

  6. Hi!

    Oh no, fuck! I’m sorry you didn’t get to go to the zine fair! I loved what you sent me about it so much, I thought maybe next time I’ll just hop on a plane (now that I know it’s pretty enjoyable, actually) and visit it. Maybe we could go together! That’d be super awesome!

    Yes, I wouldn’t have liked to be the one discovering them… Still no news about the case at all.

    At first, I worked a little on our new trans group plans (it’ll be on Saturday) but after that, yes, I managed to get back to my book! I’m in a weird situation with what I wrote today: I like it, I like how it turned out, as a written piece, but I’m not sure it completely fits the style of my project. Hm.
    How was the day on your end? Work, work and even more work, I suppose, right?

  7. Yoly Moly, Dennis Cooper!
    How in hell are you?
    I’m glad to hear you’re at least in the groove, even if the workload does sound potentially overwhelming. I hope you stay in that groove and on top of it.
    I wonder if a guest post might be helpful while you’ve got all this work on, if that would work for you? I’ve got a collection of gifs, not like fiction or anything, but it’s quite fun and might work on the blog, if you’d like it. What’s the best way of getting a thing like that to you, format-wise?
    I would love $475 million, but I fear I might go loopy.
    May Tuesday treat you like you’re a lord and it’s your butler.
    Your device isn’t fully protected love,
    Jamie

  8. Hi Dennis, I just emailed you a slightly updated Threads Day with a couple of minor amendments.

  9. Dennis, Yeah, I think we’ve just got regular ol’ trees here. Oaks and elms and gums and some pines and stuff. Not much to see wind-blowing-wise.

    No, that dude’s charge/potential charge (girlfriend probably won’t press charges, from what LPS is hearing) won’t affect LPS’s case at all. I wish it would. I just want it to be over, whatever the outcome is.

    From what I’ve gleaned over the years, Cameron is one of those more friendly type gay authors to the masses. I remember being quite underwhelmed by his novel The Weekend, which got pretty damn good reviews back in the day. It was…nice, I guess. I only picked this up because I liked the description on the back and I’m curious to see how he does the “coming-of-age” thing.

    Love, Simon. Man, what an experience, Dennis. Really. But first, the movie: it was okay. I liked it…all right? It was way too precious way too many times. The dialogue was often cringe worthy. There were some head scratchers (why are you sending Christmas songs to a Jewish boy? how does your best, closest friend of 13 years not have one fucking inkling that you might possibly be gay? no hint at all, really? Etc.) The whole blackmail plot was ridiculous. Of course, it was very predictable too.

    But there were some things I liked. The lead, Nick Robinson, was really good. The bad guy, Logan Miller, was really good. My crush-of-the-moment Miles Heizer was hot as fuck. (Really, I want any future boyfriend to look just like him. You’d hate him, he’s so…plain and boring looking. But an interesting, smart guy in real life.) I like that at the end they had people say things to each other that people usually never say to each other.

    And now you’re wondering why it was such an experience. I’ve never been in a theater before where people are openly sobbing, cheering, screaming, and clapping, especially when a boy kisses another boy. I was the oldest person in the theater by far. A few gay male couples, a couple lesbian couples, and the rest young straight girls. It got pretty raucous towards the end, and when Simon finally gets with his anonymous internet crush, it brought the house down. Whooping, yelling, screaming, foot stomping. Really. It was kind of…heartwarming. I would’ve never seen/heard that in response to a movie like this when I was these young people’s age. If that makes sense. Kind of touching, really.

    I’m probably going to see it again. Everyone who bailed on me this weekend was somehow shocked that I went and saw it by myself. Duh. They all still want to see it, so I’ll go too. I just want to see if the atmosphere is the same this time around. I’m really curious about it.

  10. Hey Dennis – Good to see this Moullet day back. I’ve never seen his two most recent films. Have you? Worth tracking down? This reminds me that I still need to see ANATOMY OF A RELATIONSHIP, too.

    Looks like a still from Robbe-Grillet’s Eden and After slipped into the Moullet images (red blindfold, woman, gun). Or is there a connection between him and that movie? Nice to see that image regardless.

    Are you familiar with the Turkish novelist Bilge Karasu? New Directions publishes some of his work. I just got a copy of NIGHT, which opens with an epigram from Genet. Looks intriguing…

  11. good advice dennis as usual. Thanks. My patience is in a pretty good place, for once. Not in a hurry to get the revisions! And nice surprise today, another agent requested the ms – I was totally upfront about where things stand, and he wanted to see it anyway. Good to have a backup. Do you know Godard’s For Ever Mozart? I got it from the library, will watch it tonight or soon, never heard of this one before.

  12. i think blurs and dreaming are quite different somehow.
    maybe it is how you sleep or maybe you dream when you are
    awake. i know in my more lucid times i would never dream.
    i took to reading Freud very closely at 15 or so and read
    most of his works with intense examination, with exception
    of the dream work. i think i agree with the thesis, that dreams
    are something of a mascarade. you wouldnt believe the things ive
    found hiding in my dreams. my little francophile butt will
    be there with bells on this friday morning bright
    and early. i grow more exited by the minute. so insane how
    occidental this trip feels. i expect a breakthrough. i think
    ive seen a moullet not sure. hugs

  13. I am seeing my dentist again tomorrow afternoon to make sure my jaw’s not infected. The combo of that with the ongoing sore throat is kicking my ass. There used to be a gum sold at pharmacies that numbed one’s throat, but I went shopping for it today and was told it’s not made anymore. I am making do with cough drops. I’ve only had the sore throat since Saturday, and it hasn’t really turned into anything more ominous, but every time I occasionally sneeze, I expect that I will promptly use up a Kleenex box in one sitting.

  14. Dear Dennis,

    When you have a moment would you mind contacting me about the possibility of doing a reading at Princeton University?

    Yrs,
    Michael Dickman

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