Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Mother and the Whore [1973]


Despite making only two features in his career, Jean Eustache’s name will remain ingrained in the annals of French cinema on account of his acclaimed debut feature The Mother & the Whore. Considered a cornerstone of post-Nouvelle Vague period and clocking at a marathon 3 ½ hours, the film was an illuminating study on the fallouts of the socio-cultural revolutions of 60s France, particularly the May 1968 protests, through the lives of three liberated Parisian youths. Alexandre (exquisitely played by Jean-Pierre Léaud, quite easily the ‘face’ of the Nouvelle Vague movement), a loquacious, unemployed and aimless intellectual, lives with the beautiful Marie (Bernadette Lafront). True to the ultra-liberal spirit of their times, they are in an open-ended relationship where fidelity isn’t a criteria. However, when he starts a parallel affair with Veronika (Françoise Lebrun), a promiscuous Polish nurse, things start becoming far more complicated than they had anticipated. The fascinating manage-a-trois that ensues makes it clear how superficial their rejection of conventionality is. Shot in cinéma vérité style in soothing black-and-whites, and largely devoid of any background score, it brilliantly portrayed, with wry observations and disarming candour, their collective confusions in matters related to love and sex, and the divide between their social projections and their innate natures. In essence, it was a personal, unsentimental and a thoroughly marvelous examination of the cultural alienation of a generation of French youths. The film was particularly memorable for the series of rambling monologues and conversations that it comprised of (the kind which is amusingly referred by today’s cinephiles as ‘Tarantino talk’), oftentimes captured in single takes, and its freewheeling nature except for the tad heavy last half-hour or so.








Director: Jean Eustache
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Urban Drama
Language: French
Country: France

1 comment:

Software Companies said...

This is really nice and interesting blog.I'm glad to know. I admire the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.

AimIT Software - SEO Company