I love movies. I always liked them well enough, and even as a lad saw more classics than one might expect for a kid in the suburbs: not just Chaplin; Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, Lang’s Metropolis ... La Strada! Roshomon! I realized that I loved movies once I saw my second Fellini, my second Kurosawa. But thanks to a pal’s older sister who took us to an art theater on occasion, by the time I was eighteen I’d seen a single Bergman film several times: whatever the feature was, Illicit Interlude came along with it.
Sure I understood that the reason the movie was booked was because we catch a flash of the blond’s tush as she runs naked into the bay; but I actually thought the Bergman was good, long before the name Bergman meant anything to me.
I love movies such that I also love classes of movies, different types of classes: I love noir, I love ronin flicks ... I love French, Indian, Japanese, Italian. And of course I love an awful lot of Hollywood.
I love how the nouvelle vague guys film women. Hollywood can drive me crazy how it freezes the camera on the pretty girl; but when Jean Luc Goddard won’t let go of a pretty face, I love it, love it, love it: particularly with all his asshole inane profundities tripping along on the sound track.
Yes, of course I love women too; though they don’t always love me so much any more.
Anyway it’s in the above context that I grabbed Jean-Jacques Beineix’s Betty Blue from the library the other day, a good female face on the DVD cover.
Of course my scholarship isn’t always perfect, and at sixty-seven my memory isn’t always what it used to be. I saw "Beineix" and thought La Femme Nikita, with the long-thighed gamin. No, no, that’s Besson! I should have been thinking Diva! A great movie. That's Beineix. How had I lost track of him? Nikita has its charms, but it’s no Diva.
Keeping my parallel with women, everyone older than twenty-five (and some people younger) know that no matter how gorgeous the female, lust-love never lasts more than five years. I don’t care if you’re married to Marilyn Monroe, after five years, it’s Oh, that again. Love-love can be just getting started (or never starts); but for lust love, the honeymoon is over.
Betty Blue starts off smashing. The girl has a cute face, big mouth, a lot of teeth, bottom lip real big. Her tits bulge out from her sides even when her back is to us ... and there’s a full length fuck scene right off where the guy too is cute enough and the girl tries valiantly to come. I paused the DVD to email bk that he had to see this.
And there the honeymoon ended. After that, it didn’t matter how often she flashed her pussy, the movie was dreadful. I still haven’t endured it to the end.
Could it be because this fun-loving girl doesn’t just like to run around naked, but stabs people with forks, burns people’s houses down ...
In a very negative way Betty Blue reminded me of Truffault’s supreme Jules and Jim. In both, unconventional couples pay a price. I was moved by Jules’, Jim’s, and Catherine’s aging; Betty turns twenty without showing any non-erotic attractions: which for me severely limited her attraction, period, and compromised Beineix’s skills. It’s his film, so it’s his fault.
2005 10 10 I finished it. Finally. The ending was OK; it was the far too long middle that was insufferable.