Thursday, March 19, 2009

TCM and Bellamy (2008)

Things are low and lazy around here, with Matt covering SXSW and myself projecting Chris Davis' home run total for my fantasy baseball drafts. Sorry about that folks! I think he'll hit 30.

Here are some things to fill the absence:

*My new post on TCM about Claire Denis' luminous 35 Shots of Rum, recently screened at Rendez-Vous with French Cinema.

*This photo from Claude Chabrol's Bellamy (2008)
This was the other film I saw at Rendez-Vous, and it has all the hallmarks of a late work from a master. Digressive, playful, and self-reflexive, it's loosely based on Georges Simenon's Inspector Maigret character, filled out here (literally) by Gerard Depardieu. Like Maigret, Depardieu's Inspector Bellamy is more concerned with uncovering the motivations behind crimes than the crimes themselves, or even with attaining justice. Bellamy, like Chabrol, is more interested in the utter strangeness of humanity. It contains his normal gallery of eccentrics, including a dissolute brother, a insurance scam artist, and a homeless depressive. Balancing this unflattering portrait of a small French town is Bellamy's angelic wife, Fran├žoise (the stunning Marie Bunel). Their relationship is a surprisingly beautiful ode to marriage, indulgent of each other's foibles while gently mocking them at the same time. An enviable model of growing old gracefully.

*go see Tokyo Sonata. Please.

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